The United States has no more important foreign relation ship than that of which it enjoys with Mexico, and vice versa. These two countries share interwoven societies and economies. Although there have been disagreements and turbulence between the two countries, which partnership is without these? The Strength of each country’s democracy is fundamental to the other’s. This relationship that the two countries share directly affects that lives of millions of Mexican and United States citizens everyday.
Recently these two countries have become even more unified than ever before. Tackling issues such as Border Control, Countering Narcotics, Dealing with multiple Law enforcement agencies, Human Rights laws, trade and development, etc. There are many issues that they are mutually interested in and must deal with. Yet, there are some vast differences in which these two countries are run. There are also many similarities, which we must take into account. Both Democratic Governments have similar structures, containing a legislative, judicial, and executive branch.
Yet, these structures are very different internally, containing specific duties that the other country’s branch may not have. The Executive Branch refers to the Presidential seat in both governments. The Presidency is a paramount institution, not only of the Mexican Government but of the US Government as well. The Countries entire political system is positioned around the presidency. In the United States the President also serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
The President appoints the cabinet and oversees the various agencies and departments of the Federal Government. The Executive Branch is checked by Congress which would be the Legislative Branch. In order for someone to become President, he or she must be a natural -born citizen of the United States. He or she must be at least 35 years of age and must have resided in the US for at least fourteen years. Once elected, the President must serve a term of four years, and may be re-elected only once.
Now, the Executive Branch of the Mexican government is very similar to that of its neighbors, but there are some pivotal differences in the institution. Presidents are elected by a majority of registered voters in the thirty-one states and the Federal District. The President holds the formal titles of chief of state, head of government, and commander in chief of armed forces. The candidates must also be at least thirty-five years of age by election day. And they must not only be Mexican citizens by birth but must also be the offspring of Mexican Citizens by birth.
Unlike the US, the candidate cannot have held cabinet post or a governorship, nor have been on active military duty during the six months prior to the election. Critics have labeled the presidency the “six year monarchy” due to the length of the term being six years, and because of the seemingly unchecked power that has resided in the office. Much of the presidential power is derived from the presidents direct and unchallenged control over both the state and the ruling party, the PRI.
One of the Unique features of the Mexican Presidency that has caused a great uproar since the 1930’s is the process of presidential succession. Mexicos PRI presidents have enjoyed the right to personally name their successor. This privilege is known as the dedazo, which means the Tap. Also, one huge difference in the executive branch between the two governments is the issue of Vice Presidency. Mexico simply has no Vice President. Further reinforcing the presidents unchallenged power.
Meanwhile the United States does have a Vice Presidential position . A position that is voted on in the same campaign as the President. They are looked at as more of a team, a two for the price of one deal. Legislative powers consist of the congress, which is divided into two chambers, the senate and the House of Representatives. Each member of the congress is elected by the people of his or her state. The Senate holds 100 seats, two seats per state. The House of Representatives seats are based on the poplation of each state, holding about 435 seats.
The difference between these two is that a representatives term is for two years, while senators are elected for six year terms. In Mexico the legislative branch of government consists of a bicameral congress, El Congreso de la Union. This congress, like the US’s, is divided into an upper chamber, the senate, and a lower chamber, chamber of deputies. Just like the US, both chambers are responsible for the discussion and approval of legislation and the ratification of high-level presidential appointments.
The senate consisted of sixty-four members, two members for each state and two representing the Federal District elected by a direct vote from the population for a six year term. In later years, as part of electoral reforms the size of the senate doubled in size and now holds 128 members. Since 1986 the house of deputies consisted of 500 seats. 200 of these seats are elected by a proportional representation from among large districts. Members of the Chamber of Deputies serve three year terms, All members are not allowed to run for re-election, but they may serve non-consecutive terms.