Muzzled consultation

Debate and dialogue are the raison d’être of politics. That is why it is so absurd that politicians are prohibited from promoting or debating the revocation consultation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. However, the 2019 constitutional amendment that established the revocation, already in the times of the Fourth Transformation, created the gag. I applaud Morena’s politicians questioning it today, but I wonder why they didn’t oppose it when their own party created it. It was morena legislators who, at the behest of the president, pushed for legislation to revoke the mandate. They drafted the new and kilometric article 35 of the Constitution to state: “The use of public resources for the collection of signatures, as well as for promotional and propaganda purposes related to the processes of revocation of mandate, is prohibited.” The INE, and local public bodies, decided, “will promote citizen participation and will be the only instance in charge of dissemination.” The article also suspended “the dissemination in the media of all government propaganda of any order of government.” He added: the public authorities, autonomous bodies, dependencies and entities of the public administration “will only be able to disseminate information campaigns related to educational and health services or those necessary for civil protection.” This prohibitionist philosophy is not new. It began with the 2007 electoral reform, which sought to limit the influence of the media on electoral processes. In the Senate, its main promoters were the PRI member Manlio Fabio Beltrones and the PRD member, now a Moreno, Pablo Gómez. In this reform, not only restrictions were established on the purchase of open radio and television time to promote political ideas (I clarify interest: I am a collaborator of radio and television companies), but also limited the criticism that politicians and candidates can make of each other and the dissemination of public works. I agree with the head of government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum. It is absurd to prohibit a mention of the revocation consultation, while opposition leaders can announce their intention not to participate in the process. This is one of the main problems of the bans on freedom of expression. No one knows how far they can go. The solution, however, does not lie in questioning the INE for applying a prohibition that the Morenistas themselves introduced in the Constitution. If Sheinbaum really wants the INE to stop being a censor, he should use his influence in his own party so that lawmakers begin to dismantle the limitations on freedom of expression that stain our electoral legislation. The reason for the policy is to promote dialogue for the search for agreements. In Mexico, in the eagerness to achieve perfect fairness in electoral processes, which is impossible, the only thing we have achieved with the electoral reforms of 2007, 2014 and 2019 is to build a complex, expensive and censorious electoral system. The solution is not to exterminate the INE for doing what the laws order it to do, but to change those laws to allow politics to be the scene of debate and dialogue again. Retroactive. The government thinks that companies affected by the retroactive rule change will simply sit idly by. But that’s not the case. For now, Monterra Energy is taking legal action to obtain compensation of 666 million dollars for the unilateral closure of its Servitux fuel storage terminal in Tuxpan. It is the first of many legal processes that will be very expensive for the country.” I invite you to participate in what I was forbidden to speak.” Claudia Sheinbaum

Original source in Spanish

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