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SPOTLIGHT: WORLD, MEET MR. TRUMP (AGAIN)

Every four years, people around the world get a glance at those odd political spectacles, typically hosted in some mid-sized American city they'll never visit. The U.S. national party conventions tend to get slightly bemused coverage abroad: candidates' family values on full display, gray-haired delegates dancing to Dixie bands and far too many balloons for something as serious as choosing what's still sometimes called the leader du monde libre.


This week, the circus became frighteningly real for that free world. The Republican Party officially nominated Donald Trump yesterday as its presidential candidate. The nominee's children painted a picture of their billionaire father as a champion for the working man, and Trump himself offered a rather tame (and scripted!) few words by video conference. But amid all the staging and self-congratulation, we should not forget that in the past 12 months, Trump has called for a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., described Mexicans as "rapists" and called Belgium a city. And more.


But now a new phase has begun in what has been an ever eventful American campaign season amid an ever troubling world. Will Trump, who makes his acceptance speech tomorrow night, try to reassure undecided voters with a more statesman-like approach? Or will he double down on the fear-mongering and vitriol in attacking his Democratic party opponent Hillary Clinton? A world that does indeed still look to America for leadership — and entertainment — will certainly be watching.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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