#Elections2018 | Vote without trust
The parties come to the campaigns to ask for the vote, despite being the most discredited institutions in the country
By El Saxofòn
Next July 1, one million 983 thousand 314 potosinos that appear on the nominal List are called to elect mayors, local deputies, federal, senators and President of the Republic. It has been said to the point that those who come to cast their vote will take this decision in a context of violence, insecurity and economic uncertainty; but also and it must be said, they will have to choose an option in a context of almost total discredit and lack of confidence in the institutions that participate in this process.
Beginning with the political parties, the Mexicans do not believe in the institutions of the State, they see them as part of a system that, basically, has been dedicated to deceiving them.
According to the results of the survey that Mitofsky Consultation does year after year, the political parties have the last place in citizen confidence with a rating of 4.4. Even, according to this measurement, confidence in these organizations fell from 4.8 in 2016 to 4.4 in 2017.
Also, the National Survey of Quality and Government Impact (ENCIG 2017), in its section on Trust in institutions or actors of society, identifies the parties as the institutions with the greatest discredit among the Mexican population. They are in last place. Eight out of ten Mexicans distrust them; only 17% of the respondents identify the parties as institutions that inspire much or some confidence.
Of course, distrust also reaches the electoral authorities. Nationally only 33.3 percent trust them, while the remaining 66.7 percent does not.
As for San Luis Potosí, only 21.6 percent of the potosinos trust the political parties, and the percentage is reduced to 19.6 when people living in the Metropolitan Area are asked. That is, 8 out of ten potosinos older than 18 years, do not believe in the parties, or their platforms, or their candidates.
And if they do not trust the parties, the most natural thing is that the Potosinos do not believe in the governments emanating from these parties:
According to the ENCIG, only 35.4 percent of the potosinos trust their municipal governments;
33.9 percent, that is, after every ten, have a lot or some confidence in state governments. In the Metropolitan Area of San Luis this percentage is reduced to 31.8 percent.
Just 30.3 percent trust the federal government and the Metropolitan Area trust is reduced to 27.9 percent.
Only 21.8 percent of the potosinos trust the deputies and senators (in the Metropolitan Area, the trust is reduced to 19.7 percent).
All the parties and candidates speak of honesty, point out the corruption and bad practices of their opponents, and although most of the voters do not believe anything, they go from rally to rally, postulating themselves as the best option.
“Trust reduces costs in all senses, when in a democracy there is no trust, it is necessary to invest more resources so that this becomes present and thereby helps to legitimize the system. (…) Mexico’s in particular has been classified as a of the most costly democracies, this is precisely due to the lack of confidence of Mexicans in their institutions”, says Israel Palazuelos Covarrubias, Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Salamanca, Spain.
But this distrust of Mexicans has not arisen spontaneously, it comes from a whole tradition in the political life of the country and from socially traumatic events such as the “fall of the system” in the election of 1988 or the narrative of “fraud” in the 2006 elections, to cite relatively recent cases.
But even more, it is the fault of Mexican politicians lying to the left and right, promising solutions to problems they know they will not be able to solve, promising actions that they do not have the minimum intention of fulfilling and that, therefore, they will not comply.
Politicians sometimes lie in the most crude way:
In the second debate of presidential candidates, for example, Ricardo Anaya showed a sack, making it pass as the property of a Mexican migrant deported from the United States. Then he showed the cover of a magazine to which he had erased the title of an article in which he was accused of acts of corruption.
The other candidates also lied: they said, all without exception, that they will end corruption, with poverty, with insecurity, even knowing that their simple commitment is not enough and six years are not enough to remedy problems that have so many edges so that we think that they can be solved thanks to the efforts of a single person or even a group of people.
The political tradition dictates that the person seeking a position must promise, because as the commonplace says “promise does not impoverish”, political tradition dictates that those who aspire to win an election have to lie to sustain their narrative either from the opposition or from the power.
If they are not naive, the little more than 50 percent of citizens who go to the polls every three years, do so convinced that they are participating in a hoax.
A good part of the things promised by the subjects that appear on the ballot are lies. They are promises that will not be fulfilled. The citizen knows that, even if he wins that candidate of his choice, the problems of his city will not be solved.
From Plato we know that lying “is a resource of power”. Lying in politics is usual. False accusations are made against the adversaries, they say falsehoods to dissociate themselves from true accusations. And he lies in many ways: in no campaign is the photo of the candidate greeting elderly people, carrying children, giving their “village baths”. These images lie to make believe that there is a genuine concern of the candidates for the so-called “vulnerable” sectors.
On May 10, the president of the National Ethics Commission of the national PRI, José Antonio González Fernández, declared: “We want to say with conviction that they can cross out what they want but not corrupt, dishonest”.
This statement was disseminated in a press release entitled: “The parties are not corrupt, unfair to cross the PRI in that way: JAGF”.
If that statement is not a flagrant lie, then, dear reader, what are they and where did the former governors (not only from the PRI) who today face accusations of corruption and are even deprived of their liberty in Mexican prisons and abroad?
There are enough elements to think that these cases are only the tip of the iceberg in a country that has a rate of 25 thousand 541 acts of corruption per hundred thousand inhabitants, according to the ENCIG 2017.
Finally, a fairly informed citizen, who knows who votes for who votes next July 1, is participating in a fraud, because it is most likely that the candidate in turn, once become a public servant, will not have the will or not will be able to fulfill what he promised in his campaign.
The citizen is called to vote and is told that this act is a right and that it is very important that he do it, but he is not given tools to make his vote truly useful, that is, so that even if the candidate does not win by the one who voted, the simple act of going to the polls guarantees that their claims will be taken care of and their demands fulfilled.
Abraham Lincoln coined his own phrase about political lying: “It is possible to deceive a few all the time. It is possible to cheat everyone once. But it is not possible to cheat everyone all the time”.
When one reads on social networks the comments of support or rejection to one or another candidate or party, he can not help but think that whoever makes such comments is one of those few deceived all the time, or one of those all deceived by a time (the one that lasts the campaigns), but in either case, they are ignorant that this passion is completely sterile.
Politicians are like those products that are announced at dawn in the infomercials, which promise to lose weight or build an athletic figure in a few weeks, and that once acquired they end up being thrown away after showing that: or the device is useless or even worse , that the consumer has not known how to use it.
This feeling of frustration, perhaps the same as the citizen when, once the vote has been cast and one or other candidate has triumphed, he recognizes that he does not know how to make the politician fulfill what he promised, even if he signed it before a notary.