The political system in Mexico, despite its stability when comparing to other countries in Latin America, has gone through many political changes after the revolution that started in 1910. It can be argued that this stability was combined with a certain monopoly of power during the reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Nevertheless, there were many reforms taking place during that period leading to the election of 2000 when this monopoly of power ended along with the first congressional elections in 2003. This paper observes the changes and the continuities that the Mexican political system has experienced since the revolution and until 2004.
The introduction of the Mexican constitution in 1917 was a building stone of the future changes in the Mexican political system, which was pluralistic in its essence, and had many democratic practices such as the elections by majority votes. 1934 witnessed the election of Lazaro Cardens which established the changes of power to the PRI, founded in 1929. 1939 seen the first major change in the introduction of the first, although weak, opposition in the face of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) (Schedler).
The invincibility of PRI helped it winning every electoral competition monopolizing the power in its hands, until 1963 when the Law of Party Deputies was introduced. Applying this law in 1964, “PAN (a right-oriented party) and the PPS (a left-wing party) had won seats in Congress.” (Skidmore and Smith 242) Additionally, reforms of 1979 were another major step toward pluralism in political power, which as the previous one of 1963 can be said to be resulted from crises of legitimacy. (Gilbreth and Otero)
It can be seen that the aforementioned political changes, combined with events such as Zapatista rebellion in 1994 and the economic crisis of 1995, has led to the presidency elections of 2000 and congressional elections of 2003. In that sense, it can be said that the process of democratization of Mexico was gradual despite the long reign of one-party regime.