Bloggers contemplate the Mexican presidential election, avidly follow the hirings and firings at blog empire Gawker Media, and shake their heads at agricultural subsidies.
Indecisión 2006: Left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and free-trade advocate Felipe Calderon, the two leading candidates for Mexico's presidency, have both proclaimed victory in Sunday's election. The results won't be in until Wednesday, and the margin will likely be less than 1 percentage point.
On Mexico Today, Ana Maria Salazar Slack, who leads an English-language radio news program broadcast in Mexico, insists that the "big loser" is the PRI party, which ruled Mexico for 75 years until Vicente Fox came to power in 2000. In this election, the PRI came in a distant third. A Publius Pundit contributor, free-trade advocate A.M. Mora y Leon, reports from Tijuana: "[P]eople said the number one issue was personal security, and they believed Felipe Calderon was the man who would be most likely to do something about it. I took a photo of a Calderon campaign poster. It was posted on a house that was literally a cage, it was so covered with security bars."
On I Exist. Aquí. Contigo., a Mexican-American, writes, "Although I have said that AMLO is the 'menos peor' [least bad] candidate, I will still want him to win. … But not because I expect big changes, but because at least the attacks on the poor won't be so brutal. … Only the people, the workers, the campesinos, indigenous peoples, women, gays and lesbians, los de abajo y a la izquierda [those below and on the left], are the only ones that can change Mexico."
On North93, Mexican Mr. L discusses voting for a tiny progressive party and notes, "At this point I'd venture to guess that Calderon is going to take the cake next Wednesday, when the official results will be given, and that the situation in the country will continue more or less the same way it has been for the past six years, with the congress being extremely divided, hand-tying the federal government in many cases."
Expat Mark in Mexico discusses the striking teachers' union in Oaxaca, which abducted Federal Election Instute officials, votes, and police officers, complaining of voting irregularaties. Another expat, a Spanish language student, George Somewhere In… posts pictures of strikers in Oaxaca and gives some background.
"Have we gone from a 50-50 nation to a 50-50 world? What's going on?" asks a bemused liberal Political Animal, Kevin Drum, after pointing to the extremely close U.S., German, and Italian elections of recent years. On TPM Café, liberal Matt Yglesias attempts to answer this question by positing three theories. Coincidence, rising democracy, and an esoteric political science formulation, the median voter theorem.
Stalking Gawker: Jossip.com reported on Sunday that Nick Denton, head of Gawker Media, summarily fired Gawker.com co-editor Jesse Oxfeld on Friday. It also catalogued reports of other hirings and firings and news that two of Denton's 15 sites are up for sale. The New York Times fleshed out the story on Monday. Mediabistro's FishbowlNY points out a "subtle" difference between two drafts of Denton's blog post—one available at his blog and one that FishbowlNY quoted from Rachel Sklar at the Huffington Post—explaining why he did it. *
Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke licks her lips: "Lots of nasty details. [Oxfeld's] trying to shop his story before Denton tells the truth. Everyone in Manhattan is thrilled. He was talking about how he's worried everyone is going to come after him. Which they are." After alluding to a dispute with Oxfeld, the L.A.-based blogger continues, "But, Jesse, a word to the wise: don't even think about looking for work here."
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