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The proverbially moderate-mindeu American citizen must have received quite a shock upon glancing at the headlines of yesterday's papers, in which the returns of the Mexican presidential election were reported. To a nation which has shown such political apathy as has characterized the general run of elections in the United States in recent years, the picture of all Mexico marching to the polls armed with the franchise and the six-shooter presents a decided contrast.
Such an electoral law as that now in force in Mexico, which makes the first nine voters to reach the polling booth into an electoral committee with supervision over the voting is morally certain in a country of the temperament of Mexico to result in outbreaks and rioting. Perhaps if the adherents of the Anti-Re-electionist party had arisen earlier in the morning than their successful Nationalist rivals, the whole complexion of the election might have been changed. Sufficient to say that the entire proceeding reflects but little credit on the success of democratic government in Mexico.
The idealistic conception of a self-governing democracy to the south of us, has received one blow after another. Successful presidencies such as the Calles administration, have been consistently followed by periods of disorder, during which most of the patiently taught fundamentals of popular government have been totally forgotten in the usual scramble for personal self-elevation. Such constructive and enlightened presidencies as that of Calles, however, have been maintained primarily by force, and they would seem to justify their indefinite continuation as benevolent despotisms. Mexico has not proved herself ready for true democracy, and a reversion to what is ordinarily considered an out-of-date form of government might after all be a progressive step in her reorganization.
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