Themes on Mexican Leadership and Democracy
Political reforms which impact on the electoral process can have long-standing and unintended consequences on the characteristics of political leadership, on the gatekeepers of that leadership, and on the homogeneity of leadership under a democratic electoral model. The peculiarities of a legislative system, particularly in the way that it is structured, can unquestionably slow down the processes that democratic electoral change typically engenders, by determining the type of leaders selected and who does the selecting. Democratic change, measured by numerous background variables of the leading politicians, can be extraordinarily radical in scope. Institutions play an important role in the backgrounds of political leadership, particularly in their credentials and their recruitment. In spite of these important influences produced by perceptions of a politician's career experiences and accomplishments, non-institutional relationships based on familial linkages are extensive in Mexico, potentially exerting greater influence on their selection than those experiences or credentials which are publicly visible and concrete. Democracy is enhancing an increase in politicians' experiences and credentials typically associated with a democratic process, including negotiating and bargaining skills; yet democracy also has increased party militancy significantly and consequently the level of partisanship has expanded, not only among governors, but among politicians holding important national positions, including members of congress.
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