With just two and a half weeks to go before the 2018 campaign season closes, there are no indications that Chapala’s seven mayoral candidates will face off in a live public debate.
So far, the most effective form to measure and compare the proposals and demeanor of the individual politicians has been the series of discussion sessions with high school students hosted by the Preparatoria Regional.
One by one, six of the candidates faced questions lodged by teenage constituents during the Diálogos Educativos program held on different dates between May 23 and 30. At each session the guest candidates were allowed 20 minutes to introduce themselves and their platforms, followed by a 40-minute question and answer period and five minutes for closing remarks. Each candidate signed a written act confirming campaign pledges to the student audience.
The format was designed to specifically delve into proposed policies regarding education and culture. However, students selected to moderate the forums gave some latitude for addressing controversial but pertinent side issues that clearly put two of the campaign frontrunners on the spot.
Both Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) candidate Moy Anaya, appearing May 23, and Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) contender for re-election Javier Degollado, following on May 28, were asked to explain their postures on the violent confrontation that occurred earlier in the month between their respective supporters.
Countering Degollado’s public declarations implying that the brawl had been orchestrated by MC activists to generate sympathy for their candidate, Anaya stated, “I’m not going to have someone on my team shot just to gain five votes.”