Question OneConstitutionally (Article 89), Mexican president is the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. However, Mexican presidents also wield informal powers that give them almost authoritarian power at the federal level of government as well as considerable ability to meddle in the internal issues of Mexican states. Moreover, constitutionally, the Mexican Congress has power over budget, legislative proposal, or presidential appointment to Congress. However, the Mexican Congress has never earnestly contested any budget, legislative proposal, or presidential appointment.
The autocratic power of the executive arm of Mexican’s federal government is partly attributed to the ruling party majority seats in both Congressional houses with the majority deliberately bloated through electoral method. In the Senate, the party that wins a state receives four of those state seats (Domínguez, 2015).
Formal and informal governance structures undermine the separation of power between federal, state and local governments of Mexico. Formally, the constitution defines Mexico as a republic made up of States that are sovereign and free in all their internal affairs matters. However, since the power of states to collect taxes is limited, local and state governments heavily relies on federal government for sharing of revenues, which grossly restricts their independence. Opposition mayor and governors, especially those who attempt to legislate reforms that challenge the status quo, usually have their budgets cut to the level where they struggle to offer basic services (Domínguez, 2015).
Constitutionally, Mexico has 31 states and one Federal District in the name of Mexico City, which is the state’s capital. Parallel to the states is the national government whose power is distributed among three departments including executive, judicial and legislative. The Mexican federal government exercise limited powers, which means that Congress only exercise powers outlined in Article 73 of the Constitution or those listed elsewhere in the Constitution. Likewise, the federal executive only exercises powers listed in the constitution, while the states and local governments exercise residual powers, which is not granted to the national government or expressly forbidden to them by the constitution.
- Domínguez, J. I. (2015). Mexico’s evolving democracy: A comparative study of the 2012 elections. Baltimore: JHU Press.