The Political Reform of Mexico City and the ‘crowdsourcing’ of a new constitution

A political transformation of Mexico City started last year, and it can be interpreted in several ways. Some people call it the result of the progressive inertia that for decades has been present in Mexico City. Some skeptics see this as a strategic move from the Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera to start a solid campaign towards the 2018 presidential race.

This political transformation includes: an official change of name from D.F. (Distrito Federal) to Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX) and also a new constitution that will imply a new distribution of power and responsibilities.

Even with the progressive history of the city (decriminalization of abortion in 2007, the same-sex marriage law in 2009, as examples), no-one saw this coming, especially with the feeling across the country of the possible return of authoritarianism… the administration was “crowdsourcing” the new constitution.

The true is that Mexico City government is changing: 16 “Delegaciones” will be transformed in “Alcaldias” (Town Halls) and the government of the city won’t be that centralized, allowing each local town hall to define the usage of budget and facilitate decision making.

Accountability

In the past, the so called “Jefe Delgacionales” (elected representative chief of each delegation) always blamed everything on the central city government. Now things are going to be different, their power and responsibility will increase and the result of that may look like a more dynamic, agile, and reactive government or may not. One could argue that without the proper mechanisms, this could create a less articulated city.

What’s peculiar of this Constitution?

  • The first draft was generated by a group of 28 “notable figures” appointed by Mancera.
  • The 28 appointed figures included over 400,000 contributions from citizens via platforms such as Change.org.
  • The final draft will be sent to a special congress made up of 100 seats that will modify, correct and amend it to produce the final version of the constitution. The dead line is March 31st 2016.

Only then we will know how inclusive and progressive is the new constitution. As well, it will take some time to notice on practice the difference in city’s government operations.

APA Citation:

Author: Diego Rabasa. The Guardian. (June 2nd,2016). https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jun/02/mexico-city-crowdsourcing-new-constitution-change-mayor-mancera-president

Author E. Martinez. TKM. Photo (January 7th, 2016) http://www.mundotkm.com/mx/viajes/104349/la-ciudad-de-mexico-el-principal-destino-turistico-del-pais-sectur

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