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This Week in Freudenfreude: Oh What a World

The Catholic Church, as you may have heard, is quite patriarchal. And the nation of Mexico is quite Catholic—it, and Brazil, are the only two countries in the world to be home to more than 100,000,000 Catholics. Taking these things together, you might expect Mexico's government to be quite patriarchal. And if you did expect that, well, you would be wrong.

In fact, the Mexican government has worked rather aggressively to make certain that women have just as much representation as men in Mexican politics. Indeed, they literally made it a constitutional amendment in 2019, that there had to be parity in all aspects of government. As a result of this, 50% of the members of the Mexican Congress are women. The presidential cabinet is also 50% women. The governor of the central bank is a woman. So is the president of the Supreme Court.

And now, it is likely that the final glass ceiling is going to be shattered. If you think that U.S. presidential election cycles are long, well, the major parties in Mexico just nominated candidates for presidential elections to be held next June. The current ruling party, MORENA, has tapped former Head of Government of Mexico City (essentially, governor) Claudia Sheinbaum. The opposition coalition, Broad Front for Mexico, has chosen Xóchitl Gálvez. Since every Mexican presidential election has been won by one of these two partisan organizations, Mexico looks set to elect its first female president on June 2 of next year.

The only potential fly in the ointment is... the country's "macho culture." We sometimes get taken to task for making this observation, but there is a substantial chunk of voters who tend to prefer a "macho" candidate. This group is mostly male, but it includes some women as well. Gloria Alcocer Olmos, who edits the Mexican political magazine Voice and Vote, explains that it's at least possible that an independent candidate could consolidate the "macho" vote and win a plurality of the ballots.

Knowing this, we can't be the only ones thinking "Trump for President of Mexico 2024" solves a lot of problems for a lot of people. Yes, it's true that the majority of Mexicans hate Trump's guts. But the majority of Americans hate his guts, too, and that didn't stop him from being elected on the northern side of the border. If he does make this happen, we predict Democrats will suddenly become more enthusiastic about building a border wall.

In any event, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which tracks women politicians around the world, says that Mexico is the fourth-best country in the world when it comes to opportunities for women politicians (the U.S. is 71st). Presumably, if and when Mexico elects a woman president, they'll move a spot or two or three up the list. And in case you are wondering, the current top three are... surely not the countries you would guess. In third place is Nicaragua, in second is Cuba, and on top of the world is... Rwanda.

So, a tip of the sombrero to the people of Mexico. Have a good weekend, all! (Z)

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