Fabulos noder baffo wrote an interesting piece on Mexican Democracy. I would like to add a point or two of additional information given recent changes in Mexico.

It is the case that since the end of the Mexican Revolution (1917, for the most part), Mexico's attempt at democracy has been rather painfully bad. Elections were routinely rigged, opposition parties were harrassed and largely ineffective, and one single political party - the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) held the reigns of power. Long story short, this situation took a rather sharp change in the summer of 2000. The June presidential elections in Mexico were won by Vicente Fox, a member of the opposition party Partido Accion Nacional (PAN), a moderately right wing political party. As an aside, Fox is the former president of Coca Cola de Mexico. This is the very first time that the PRI has admitted defeat in a national election. Quite an historic moment.

Let me also note that the humorous piece mentioned by baffo in his write-up is not a bad tongue in cheek description of state corporatism. State corporatism is a form of government that tends to organize political interests into highly structured, highly differentiated units. I refer the reader to Phillipe Schmitter's "Still the Century of Corporatism" for a discussion of corporatism, and a discussion of how state corporatism differs from societal corporatism ( which is generally a botttom up form of government as opposed to the top down version, of which Mexico was perhaps the best example.)