the regular presidential succession to present the new president as a leader
who would respond to problems in a fresh and energetic way. Salinas moved
dynamically against some of the most notorious examples of corruption, established an important new social program funded in large part by huge sums of
money raised from the sale of state firms, liberalized the economy considerably, and negotiated a free trade pact with the United States. The economy
began to grow again after several sluggish years. The Salinas government also
liberalized politics somewhat, by enacting a new electoral law that provided
for a new electoral roll and new electoral identity cards. The president also
overturned some state and local elections when evidence of fraud and opposition protests were overwhelming. The regime also took advantage of the fact
that, as weakened as it was after 1988, it still had the capacity to mobilize
voters and even to use electoral "alchemy" where necessary to stay in power.
Whether the regime could maintain social peace with this degree of "problem management" was, however, open to question. As skillful as Salinas and
his associates had been in their first four years, it was not inevitable that this
would be enough. The conditions in which the traditional factors operated had
changed dramatically by the 1990s, and it was possible that the very factors
that had allowed one party to remain in power for six decades would now
threaten that hegemony. The next chapter will examine the altered conditions
of the 1990s and ask what the prospects are for political stability and democracy in Mexico.
Robert A. Pastor, "Post-Revolutionary Mexico: The Salinas Opening", Journal
of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 32 ( 3), 1990, p. 4.
Franz A. von Sauer, "Measuring Legitimacy in Mexico: An Analysis of Public
Opinion during the 1988 Presidential Campaign", in Mexican Studies 8 ( 2), 1992, p. 277.
Pastor, Post-Revolutionary Mexico," p. 4.
Stephen D. Morris, "Political Reformism in Mexico: Salinas at the Brink", Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 34 ( 1), 1992, pp. 31-40; John Bailey
, Populism and Regime Liberalization: Mexico in Comparative Perspective
( Paper Presented at Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 18-20, 1991), pp. 14-21.
Morris, Political Reformism," pp. 32-34.
Press Office of the Government of Mexico, Mexico on the Record ( Washington,
D.C.: Embassy of Mexico, 1992), vol. 1 ( 9), pp. 2-3. In fact, this publication itself
was part of the Salinas offensive to improve the image of the Mexican regime.
Von Sauer, Measuring Legitimacy, p. 269.
Bailey, Populism," pp. 1-22; Morris, Political Reformism," p. 39.
Bailey, Populism," pp. 19-20; Ambler H. Moss Jr., "A Democratic Party
Approach to Latin America", Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 34
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Political Stability and Democracy in Mexico:The "Perfect Dictatorship"?.
Contributors: Dan A. Cothran - Author.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1994.
Page number: 205.
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