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Party Politics in New Democracies$
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Paul Webb and Stephen White

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289653.001.0001

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Strong Parties in a Struggling Party System

Strong Parties in a Struggling Party System

Mexico in the Democratic Era

(p.243) 9 Strong Parties in a Struggling Party System
Party Politics in New Democracies

Joy Langston

Oxford University Press

Political parties played a crucial role in negotiating Mexico's drawn-out transition and are central actors in the nation's new democracy. Mexico has a stable three-party system and its three major parties win over 90% of the vote in federal elections and 95% of the legislative seats. The parties are well funded, control most candidate nominations, and are largely able to dictate the legislative behaviour of their partisans in congress. The strong three-party system does not produce legislative majorities, making major structural reform more difficult. Mexican voters use partisan cues to make electoral decisions and independent candidates are constitutionally prohibited. Despite these strengths, in public opinion polls Mexican citizens regularly rate parties among the least trusted public institutions.

Keywords:   Mexico, three-party system, federal elections, congress, partisan, electoral decisions

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