“No memory gap, no black spot will escape
hounds, except perhaps for the link that unites deficit of
values and lack of rigor; cult of caprice and ‘general culture’”
whatANDWas President López Obrador’s “Plan B” for electoral reform just another occurrence or is it again a “false start” to try to impose a political decision or to satisfy a whim? Is there a lack of rigor in the exercise of power or is the president’s “false start” the product of his “resistance to bureaucracy”? Is it a ploy to hide the real plan to “capture” the INE?
What is a fact is that the president’s “plan B” is unfeasible as an alternative given the impossibility of getting the votes to approve the constitutional reform in electoral matters. At least as stated in the first instance, the legal modifications on the two issues – popular election of electoral councilors and magistrates and modification of the electoral system – that he originally announced as part of his “plan B” for electoral reform, are inadmissible. In both cases, not a legal reform but a constitutional change is required.
As in the case of the other two failed constitutional reforms of the second part of his government -energy and the National Guard-, President López Obrador tried to resort once again to a path that, if successful in the terms originally proposed by him , obviously would result in a legal reform whose fundamental content would be contrary to the Constitution and, consequently, should be invalidated by the Supreme Court.
If, as it seems, at first the president was not clear about the legal possibilities for his “plan B” to move forward, I think he at least sensed that the Constitution would limit it; That is surely why in the final part of his announcement he says that his legal reform initiative would go for “everything that can be done without violating the Constitution.” Unlike the other cases mentioned, it seems that at least on this occasion he assumed that politics is the art of the possible, that it governs in a constitutional democracy and that the exercise of power is subject to the rule of law, although he does not like it. .
Although it may seem incredible, it should no longer surprise us that the president launches an idea on a legislative or administrative issue without knowing if it is viable from a legal point of view or not and without stopping to review its constitutionality. On most occasions he has had to rectify after a few days, as happened in this case. One day after he announced his “plan B”, he qualified his proposal. To an express question about what his “plan B” would consist of, he replied: “I’m watching, without violating the Constitution.” He went from total and blatant disregard for the rule of law to the lack of rigor that has characterized him in leading the State.
There is a broad consensus that what has distinguished the administration of President López Obrador has been improvisation and occurrences, the lack of technical and legal rigor and caprice and, most seriously, the detachment from the Constitution and the Rule of law; even when he has dealt with government programs or far-reaching reforms for his government.
Beyond the fact that on this occasion, 24 hours were enough for him to understand that his alternative plan for electoral reform was unfeasible; It seems to me that the most delicate thing is what this new blunder of the president confirms to us in relation to his personal style of governing.
The function of government is much more than just managing. Governing a country means taking the helm of the State -the word government derives from the Latin kybernetes, with which the driver or helmsman of a ship was designated- and ensuring that the essential functions of the Government are carried out with regularity, continuity and quality to guarantee a responsive, effective and efficient public administration.
The president’s personal style of governing can be characterized by three or four recurring sayings of López Obrador: “don’t think that governing has much science”, “that that politics is the art and science of governing is not so attached to the reality”, “the important thing is not the position but the assignment” and “I don’t like to delegate a lot”.
It is known that since he was Head of Government in Mexico City, López Obrador had little affection for advisers or, at least, for being advised -although it is increasingly clear that he needs them- and for cabinet work; without which, as we are verifying, it is very difficult to govern a country.
President López Obrador’s detachment from the principles of public administration -not to mention administrative law- and the lack of planning -another subject that he dislikes- are evident. Not to mention guaranteeing the right to good public administration.
During the four years of the government of President López Obrador, the lack of tact and political sensitivity, the mistakes, the stubbornness in maintaining projects, policies, and erroneous administrative and legal decisions, by him or his collaborators, have been constant, despite the fact that there is evidence that they are wrong or detrimental to the progress of their government, to the functioning of the State or, even worse, to the well-being of the population.
The shortage of medicines and vaccines has been one of the most tangible signs of his inability to direct the federal public administration and the most obvious of his government’s failures due to the high cost it has had in people’s lives. The lack of expertise that he has shown to lead and bring to fruition the regime change that he offered is the manifest expression of his political incapacity as head of state. Paradoxes of Mexican politics: López Obrador is the first president of the country to graduate in political science and public administration.
The administrative disorder that has characterized his government, and the inability to conduct relations with other powers and autonomous bodies within the constitutional and legal framework, make clear the lack of advice to the holder of the executive power for the exercise of his function and the lack of an orderly, systematic and efficient cabinet work as provided by the Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration.
Where have the Ministry of the Interior, the Office of the Presidency of the Republic and the Legal Department of the Federal Executive been when coordinating the cabinet meetings of the Federal Public Administration, in which the Government’s policy is defined and evaluated? Federal in priority matters of the administration, or to advise and review the initiatives of law or constitutional reform and the regulations, decrees, agreements and other presidential resolutions?
Although the president does not believe it, politics is the art of the possible. The proper conduct of public administration can literally be a matter of life and death for people. Yes President, governing does have science, and a lot of it. That is what the cabinet, the dependencies of the federal executive power and the advisers are for.
Apparently, either because he does not think it is necessary, because he does not like it or because there is no one in his government who can advise him (“90% honesty -in the language of the 4T, read loyalty- and 10% experience”, López Obrador has said) unfortunately the president has no one to advise him and those of us who pay the consequences are the governed.
* French philosopher. He collaborated with Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara. He was a member of the Party
French socialist. As an expert on “Third World” issues, he was an adviser to the president
Mitterrand and, between 1986 and 1992, was a member of the Council of State of France