More on elections down South …

Bolivia has an election coming up on Sunday as well. I'll get to that in a second, but first a few more points on Mexico.

Although it didn't really fit into the Top Ten List format* of the Mexican election preview on the front page, this could have an impact on Sunday's vote:


What started as a teachers' strike here five weeks ago has grown into a major movement to oust the governor of Oaxaca State that could affect the presidential election on July 2.
…the teachers, who number 70,000, have been joined by dozens of community groups, Indian rights organizations, farmers' cooperatives and revolutionary parties...
The governor's decision a week ago to use the state police to dislodge the striking teachers from the central square, resorting to the old ruling party's tactics, outraged left-wing organizations across Oaxaca …
Now, politicians and voters worry that the spiraling political crisis will interfere with the presidential election in unpredictable ways.
The teachers' union and its allies vow to disrupt the voting if the governor does not resign, and a fifth of the polling places are in schools. Yet the teachers are divided, with some saying they want to vote and some, including union leaders, calling for a protest vote against Mr. Ruiz's party and President Vicente Fox's National Action Party. That would benefit the leftist front-runner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador...
With 3.3 percent of the nation's voters in Oaxaca, and Mr. López Obrador running neck-and-neck nationwide with the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderón, any shift in votes toward the leftist could be significant …
Allow me a small tangent here.

I've never quite gotten the "liberal" media's hostility towards the Latin American left. I think it's some kind of deeply ingrained holdover from the Cold War. Whatever the case, mainstream papers like the WaPo and the New York Times really have a transparent bias against el izquierdo. It's manifested in the stories they choose to highlight, those they tend to ignore and in the non-neutral language they use to describe the political scene to our South.

The last graph of the excerpt above has a good example of the latter; note how "the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderón" is opposed with "the leftist front-runner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador." I may be reading too much here -- I consume a lot of crappy Latin American reporting and that causes me to have a bias -- but "leftist" seems a hell of a lot more extreme than "conservative."

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