How were the presidential candidates selected?
We have no set process. Morena used a public poll to get a sense of the public’s preference, but the winner of the poll is not necessarily the candidate. The candidate must have also proven themselves by acting in accordance with Morena’s principles. Gender balance is also considered.
For example, Morena used a poll in Mexico City to see who the public preferred as their candidate for mayor. The poll chose the police commissioner, García Harfuch; however, the party chose Clara Brugada instead. This method has its dangers — some Harfuch supporters were angry! But luckily, he graciously agreed to work for Brugada’s election.
The other two candidates were chosen through internal discussion among leaders. No party uses primaries state-by-state as in the US.
The US spends more on campaigns than the budgets of small countries. How are campaigns financed?
The government is the biggest funder. It allots each party an amount of money proportional to the number of votes they got in the previous election. So if your party had 20% of the votes, you get 20% of the government’s election funds for your campaign.
The party may also raise additional private dollars, but that amount cannot be bigger than the amount the government allots. Thus, the amount a party can spend on campaigns is capped — it’s not a race to see who can raise the most money. Of course, this system favors the party in power as they can spend the most.
Mexican law designates three different campaign periods by law. The people selected to run are called “pre-candidates” and from November until January 18, they are in the “pre-candidacy” period. What is the purpose of this period?
During the pre-candidacy, the candidates must work only inside their own party. They work with supporters to make sure they understand the issues of concern, and to hone their messages. They cannot do public events. For example, Claudia was supposed to speak with her supporters in Los Angeles a few months ago in an open air stadium. At the last minute, she had to move it to an indoor location.