The initiative for constitutional reforms in electoral matters presented by President López Obrador has given rise to a large number of comments. Some for and some against.
There are those who see it as a higher stage in the development of institutions and practices that began several years ago. Others understand it as a deliberate attempt at institutional appropriation by the President and his movement. Even when the details are beginning to be known, it is very likely that in the summer there will be important debates ahead of the regular session of the Congress of the Union. The discussions and positions will be given on specific aspects of the initiative, since the recomposition of the current model, its implications and effects, are at stake.
Beyond the particular aspects of the discussions, it is important now to consider the general areas of the issue. Notably, the representation that political and social actors make of the issue itself. No one escapes the fact that much of what we witness or suffer on a daily basis is determined by military visions of disputed fields. Of the President and his “adversaries” of him, of the battles carried out and of the ongoing war. From these large images, specific positions emerge. The arc that in an apparently anecdotal way began alluding to “conservatives” and “fifís”, is decanting in betrayals and “traitors” to the country.
The electoral reform initiative prefigures the way in which the President is going to develop the corresponding process. I am referring to the diagnosis expressed as a statement of reasons. The President assumes that the electoral mechanics have to change because it is undemocratic, costly, biased and ostentatious. Taking isolated samples from a wide period of time, he considers that the final and total result is the seizure of the political parties and the existing authorities of the electoral process as a whole. For this reason, he proposes to return to citizenship to save what he considers lost or deviant.
As the President seeks to build his solutions based on his own assessment, the discussion must begin by questioning his diagnosis. Failure to do so implies submitting in advance to the parameters established by only one of the participants, no matter how relevant it may be. What if the presidential evaluation is wrong, exaggerated or, more likely, constructed with the intention of achieving a preconceived and desired result? In such a case, would it make sense for the parties to discuss something that has been poorly conceived from its origin due to ignorance or perversity?
Due to the times that the country is experiencing and how compromised the future of our democracy is, it is very important that before entering into the discussion of the presidential initiative, we understand the different levels of the new battle that is brewing. The first is to place democracy as the backdrop for the entire process. Before assuming that the proposal simply fits into it, that we are facing a glorious step forward in the country’s democratic, electoral and civic progress, we must attend to the diagnosis on which it is based. Consider, first of all, if what is said to be wrong, really is. By doing so, the flimsiness of the base will become clear and, with it, the intention of the proposal. As his rejection can hardly be qualified as treason against the fatherland, the camp will limit itself to distinguishing between true democrats and those who are not. The ascriptions will go through the diagnosis. For sharing or rejecting it. First battle. First.