Mexico: Citizens Disappointed After Presidential Candidate Debate

Millions of Mexicans were expectant on the night of Sunday, May 6, when presidential candidates were scheduled to debate. The debate was especially popular among young people, who are mostly hesitant as they face the difficult decision of picking their next President.

The transmission lasted two hours, and thousands of comments where available on the web in real time and shortly after the end of the debate. In general, there was an atmosphere of hopelessness and despair after the discussion.

A Lopez Obrador supporter before the presidential candidate debate on Sunday, May 6. Sign reads "Votes don't have prices, they have consequences. We vote for real change. Lopez Obrador, we trust you" Image by Flickr user Eneas (CC BY 2.0)

Khublai Villafuerte, a blogger at Circulo de Cafe [es], affirmed that the reality of Mexican Politics hit the country once again:

La realidad política de México nos pega una vez más. Golpes por doquier y muy pocas propuestas contundentes; sólo el candidato más rezagado se dignó a presentarnos un manual de cómo formar un régimen autoritario, neoliberalista pero eso sí, sustentable. Quién pudo presentar modelos de cambio se limitó a hacerlo durante un minuto y atacar, a veces de manera muy floja; la candidata oficialista sólo declamó y el puntero repitió sus comerciales que diario escuchamos en la televisión y la radio. Casi nadie contestaba a las preguntas planteadas.

Mexico's political reality hits us again. Blows everywhere and very few strong proposals, only the least popular candidate introduced a manual of how to form an authoritarian, neo-liberal, but of course, sustainable regime. The candidate who could present simple change models did it only for a minute and he attacked, sometimes very loosely; the candidate representing the current party in power recited and repeated her ads, the ones we hear everyday on TV and radio. Almost no one answered the questions.

Later, he added [es] that real change will not come from a president, but rather from all of the citizens:

Como ciudadanía hemos ganado un golpe de realidad, hemos recordado que el cambio no depende de una persona que sentada en cierta silla sino de nuestra exigencia, de nuestro trabajo y sobretodo de nuestro compromiso con el país. Que este debate nos sirva para llamar nuestra atención y recordarnos que un verdadero cambio sólo vendrá desde y a través de nosotros mismos.

As citizens we have opened our eyes, we remembered that the change does not depend on a person sitting on a chair but rather it depends on our demands, our effort and above all our commitment to the country. May this debate help us become more aware and remind us that real change will only come from and through us.

Animal Politico blogger Antonio Marvel argued that nobody won the debate [es]:

Un debate que no ganó nadie: no ganó Enrique Peña Nieto, no perdió Andrés Manuel López Obrador, no aprovechó Josefina Vázquez Mota y no fue para Gabriel Quadri.

A debate where nobody won: Enrique Peña Nieto did not win, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador did not loose, Josefina Vazquez Mota did not take advantage of it and it was not for Gabriel Quadri.

The public's expectations and results were so low that, as a joke, the model designated to help during the event was named the “real winner of the debate” on social networks, simply because of her beauty and revealing attire. Blogger Chilakil [es] from Hazme el chingado favor [es] explained it:

Y entre los dimes y diretes, propuestas huecas, números, estadísticas y un sin mil de acusaciones la que mejor aprovecho el breve tiempo que se le dio y la indiscutible ganadora fue nada más y nada menos que la edecán Julia Orayen.

Among the gossip, hollow proposals, numbers, statistics and countless thousands of accusations, the one who took real advantage of the short time given, and the undisputed winner was the model, Julia Orayen.

On Twitter, 3 out of the 22 popular discussion topics became worldwide trending topics: #Debate2012 [es], #JuliaOrayen [es], and #HastaLaVictoriaConJosefina [es] (“until victory with Josefina).

Evelyn Castillejos from the blog Merca2, mentioned [es] the impact of social media, especially Twitter, during the debate:

  • A las 20:15 horas -15 minutos después de haber iniciado el debate- ya se habían generado mil 46 tweets originales, 415 retweets y 39 menciones directas (es decir, sin hashtag). Esto ocasionaó tres millones 859 mil 347 impresiones, alcanzando tres millones 400 mil 845 followers únicos.
  • Durante la transmisión del debate se generaron dos mil 548 tweets por minuto.para dar un total de 305 mil 824 tweets.
  • Tras finalizar el debate, de las 22:00 horas a las 7:00 horas del día siguiente se generaron 140 tweetspor miunto, lo que da un total de 75,447
  •  At 20:15 hours -15 minutes after starting the debate,there were already 46 thousand original tweets, 415 retweets and 39 direct mentions (without a hashtag). In the end there where 3,859,359 impressions, reaching 3,400,845 unique followers.
  • During the broadcast of the debate there were 2,548 tweets per minute. A total of 305,824 tweets.
  • After the end of the debate, from 22:00 pm to 7:00 am the following day, there were generated 140 tweets per minute, which makes a total of 75,447 tweets

Unfortunately, the debate did not help a lot of Mexicans make up their mind and decide who they will vote for during the next elections. Only very few proposals were mentioned and most candidates gave an answer on “what they want to tackle” instead of “how they are planning to do it”.

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