Friday, January 09, 2009

beacons on the red sea

Jump over to CancunCanuk's blog and read Red Tape Fiesta in Mexico.

I do not often give accolades to politicians. However, President Felipe Calderón continues to impress me.

Mexico is infamous for its bureaucratic mazes. Horror stories abound from residents and expatriates alike.

President Calderón decided that if reform would not drive out unnecessary layers of administration, perhaps shame would. Toward that end, he sponsored a contest to find the worst example -- and the winner has now been announced. Read CancunCanuk's very good summary.

I wish President Calderón well. The goal is noble, and his heart is in the right place. The Mexican people deserve better from their civil servants than what they are currently getting.


CancunCanuck said...

Thanks Steve, I must say I was concerned about Calderon after the election but he has shown that he really is trying to make some much needed changes in Mexico. He's got a tough row to hoe, I hope he can accomplish even a tenth of what he has proposed.

Steve Cotton said...

From up north, I had great hope for Calderón -- still do. I know I would not want his job. Come to think of it, I don't want my job. And I am about to resolve that.

John W said...

I agree that Calderon is making a difference. So is Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City's mayor. In the last year, the city has become a pleasant, safe place to visit. Try bicycling on the Reforma some Sunday morning, when it has been closed to motor traffic. Unthinkable during the Lopez Obrador administration.

An emerging Mexican middle class won't tolerate the corruption and incompetence of the past. Calderon's and Ebrard's election and successes are in part fueled by the expectations of this increasingly powerful group.

Steve Cotton said...

I often see commentators refer to Ebard and Obrador as populists. That may be true, but their ultimate styles could not be more different. Ebard is an inclusionist; Obrador an exclusionist. As long as there is a promise of a better future, the Mexican middle class will be motivated by inclusion. Both Reagan and Obama learned that basic lesson.

Michael Dickson said...

Obrador is a demagogue. My man Calderón is the best president in Mexico´s history. I´m proud to have voted for him.

However, next election, I may follow a narrower line of principles. The Green Party supports saving trees and little fishes while it simultaneously backs executions for murderers and kidnappers. Only in Mexico would you find that kind of delightful combo. I´m going Green next time. The PAN will have to do without me.

Steve Cotton said...

An interesting mix of issues. One of the European Green parties has a similar mix. Conservation conservatives.