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Christine Ockrent

Paris, France

Christine Ockrent is regarded as one of France's most respected broadcasters, the only journalist granted an interview with Saddam Hussein in the middle of the Gulf War. As well as becoming the first woman to anchor and edit the prime time news, Christine has also edited the current affairs journal L'Express, worked as the deputy director-general of France's TF1 channel and presented the country's flagship magazine and program on French and European politics, France-Europe Express. She also anchors a monthly program on international affairs on TV5Monde. Close.

Christine Ockrent

Paris, France

Christine Ockrent is regarded as one of France's most respected broadcasters, the only journalist granted an interview with Saddam Hussein in the middle of the Gulf War. more »

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The Right Mix for Mexico

Paris, France -- If every election in countries where there is a widening gap between the rich and the poor is labeled as a choice between "populism" and "markets", democracy is bound to fail. Only by promoting policies to improve...

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All Comments (8)

Calabazinha:

"Only by promoting policies to improve the fate of the poor and encouraging the private sector to create jobs and wealth can Mexico develop - and find its own remedies to the illegal labour exodus to the U.S."

Blind faith on the "private sector" is what has gotten us Mexicans in the bind we are in today in the first place ("illegal labour exodus to the U.S."). Or is it not just blind faith in the supply-side economics dogma but rather relentless propaganda that tries to convince populations that the Few (banks and corporations) are the best and only benefactors of the Many?

Let's be realistic please. The private sector's priorities are very clear. Their mission is not to "create jobs" as it is to Increase Capital For Their Investors. Period end of story. Pretending otherwise is pure delusion.

Just look at Mexico in the last fifteen or twenty years as proof of this. Privatizations; free-trade agreements; exponential increase in the drug trade combined with an explosion of money laundering through financial institutions ($29 Billion/year); increase in poverty (80% of population); the destruction of agriculture and local industry; 10 million Mexicans trying to escape through a killer desert in five years, only 3 million actually making it across (5% of the workforce of the country); the reign of organized crime; corruption; collusion, and now, "Electoral Fraud Reloaded".

Yes, indeed, democracy is not only "bound to fail", democracy has not been born yet.

Two weeks ago a million and a half citizens marched in Mexico City in order to ask that the vote count be transparent and fair. Next weekend, millions of people will march again. And again and again as many times as is necessary because they have had enough of the corruption and depredation brought down on this country by its leaders and "managers". Democracy in Mexico, finally, has a fighting chance now. But apparently things had to get to this point so that people would demonstrate publicly and peacefully what their true feelings are as opposed to the feelings attributed to them by "experts", television conglomerates, and ballot-stuffing politicians.

estebanlunes:

Liberalism and the sincere desire to help the impoverished, oppressed and forgotten is the HEART of any governing body.

Conservatism can and should geniunely reach out to the disenfranchised. Conserativism is the BRAIN of any governing body.

As in the Wizard of Oz, we need a Heart and a Brain. Moreover, we need a SOUL.

A SOUL can marry the HEART and the BRAIN.

mexicanliberalgirl:

opposite to "greg´s" opinion I think this has been one of the most accertive articles I have ever readen. Taking in count it comes from a journalist that comes from one of the most developed countries in the world, she might have an idea don´t you think?

Víctor Peralta:

Mexico´s civil society is on the edge of implosion; remember the following recent incidents, which can be seen as symptoms of a society on the verge of self-destruction:
i)violence at the borders (with the drug dealing structure)
ii)the decapitations in Guerrero (heads left at the entrances of the municipal and state´s government offices)
iii) the violent episode of San Salvador Atenco (two or and many women sexually assaulted),
iv) San Lázaro's workers strike violently suppressed (Sicartsa; one dead and forty people injured);
v) the teacher's movement in Oaxaca...

I am probably forgeting or excluding some other episodes (like the two representants of Andrés Manuel López Obrador killed in Oaxaca in the morning of the 2nd of july). What I am trying to prove with all this is that the anger is -naturraly- growing in a country with deep social and economical inequalities. (people nowdays diying of diarreah while we have plenty of the richest men of the world)

This election confirm the polarization of our society, and I suspect that it could end up with something more coordinated and far reaching action. We still have strong guerrillas in Oaxaca and Guerrero. Both entities begin to be a very harshly ambient.

I feel that this situation must stop and that the officialist party cannot and will not stop this. The reason is simple: they have shown us in that they don't want to.

aalex1:

A leftist win (PRD) will re-establish the socialist manipulation of the poor. Mexico is just recovering from 70+ years of near-Marxist domination of its political system. A moderate government (PAN) will continue to help Mexico become more democratic by introducing sustainable political competition. Fox's administration was facing the right direction, but was prevented by the PRD and PRI from real reform. A PAN win will continue to open up Mexican politics and in the near future create a more successful nation in an important region of the world.

greg:

funny, I didn't see anybody like she describes running in mexico. I wish I had the power to make up imaginary politicians to vote for. this is the most vague and useless article I think I have ever read and bears more in common with a haiku than with op-ed.

Federico M. Garza Martinez:


A victory of Lopez Obrador might produce a leftist government just across the border. The real questions should be what kind of leftist government would it be? Populist?
We Mexicans know we need a liberal democracy that tends to the poor. If the right, PAN and Fox, losses this elections it will be because they did not take the right actions at the right moment. Actions as those suggested by Clinton and Zedillo, almost six years ago after NAFTA and opening externally, following their advise on the urgency of opening internally, promoting internal markets, fighting poverty with windfall of progress and growth.
Now, Mrs. Ockrent pretty wisely defined the roadmap: Only by promoting policies to improve the fate of the poor and encouraging the private sector to create jobs and wealth can Mexico develop...
Would we get it with Lopez Obrador?
A populist left might be a disgrace. But following the steps of the great performers of the liberal left in Spain and Chile, with a good, efficient and honest government of that same kind might work here as well. If that is the case, a great lesson could be taught to the rest of Latin America. Great lessons by example, on the virtues of openness and hard, honest work from their European, northernmost, as well as their northernmost brother nations.
If that is the case, the only obstacle that seems hard to overcome is the tragic determinism that haunts Mexico: a chronic under-achiever when it comes to great expectations.

I think it's pretty obvious that:

people need to start thinking more like engineers and less like presidentes'

There's a tendancy to politicize the masses by turning everything into a rhetorical songfest without examining and addressing issues _as_they_ exist.

Too many political platforms consist of empty rhetoric that sells well, but delivers nothing.

Plans, actions and methods need to be outlined. In the real world, when you do any project you have staged _deliverables_.

What politics in general doesn't do, it to arrive at a proper conclusion in the same fashion that you would do a job. Work in the real world, that is rapidly changing, is an iterative process.

We need leaders that can indentify short term goals that will be easily done and inspire confidence.

For a good project leader, there are _no_ grand solutions delivered....only directions.

It is okay to talk about directions, but real engineering is part using existing methods and also discovery of what is working and what isn't working and getting a team of experts together to deliver a solution. One person is not a solution.

A good leader chooses, good, honest, simple and direct people. Execution of a project is dependent upon communication, honesty is essential in that communication. Without honesty, one can not be sure about "what is going on," and plans won't work out. A good leader facilitates and needs people to facilitate his process too.


Once there is a direction chosen, then goals need to be named, and a general outcome to be named, as well as short term goals...but no intelligent project leader, or leader establishes a grand design without examination.

Short terms goals that can be easily realized to establish credibility and confidence are what is needed by any leader in Mexico. Communication that is honest and reliable, sets the tone. Dependability and integrity create a strength that can not be lost once it is achieved.

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