Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Cornell professor says Mexican election probably fraudulent

Cornell Professor of Government Walter Mebane has performed an analysis of the Mexican election using what's called Benford's law. This is a superficial analysis of the numbers to look for the randomicity of the occurrence of certain digits. It's only likely to detect the clumsiest sort of fraud, which might well miss fraud by quasi-random methods. And in this case, I have to wonder why he made no attempt to connect the Benson Benford test to known facts. But, well... Here's what he says:
How can we be sure that the declared election winner actually got the most votes? Was the election stolen? This paper considers a statistical method based on the pattern of digits in vote counts (the second-digit Benford's Law, or 2BL) that may be useful for detecting fraud or other anomalies. The method seems to be useful for vote counts at the precinct level... The digit-test method is based on the expectation that the second digits of vote counts should satisfy Benford's Law (Hill 1995). Benford's Law specifies that the ten possible second digits should not occur with equal frequency. ...The 2BL test results for secciones certainly suggest there are problems with the 2006 presidential vote counts in many Mexican states, although probably not in most of them. More refined analysis is needed to reach sharper conclusions, but the general impression is that more intensive investigation of the election results is in order. That might include doing a manual recount of many--perhaps all--of the individual ballots.
If I understand his findings, he thinks that the DF, Mexico, Sinaloa, and the Yucatan deserve a looksee. Missing are states where the limited recounts were done and 200,000 votes were annulled. Mebane's study is certainly worth looking at, not that I can follow all his arguments, and I certainly agree with the conclusion that a recount is needed. But I think that this method ignores more obvious indications of fraud, such as the missing and surplus ballots.
I, too, feel the 2BL test is of limited use and he certainly equivocates up front by essentially saying that the 2BL test not necessarily an indicator. But hey, if TRIFE are unwilling to recognize ballots dumped in a garbage dump, opened boxes and ballot packages in violation of law and hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes as evidence of fraud, a freaking 2BL distribution test sure as hell won't convince them.
thebc: Nail, hit, head.

The saying that it's very difficult to explain something to a guy whose paycheck depends on not understanding never applied more exactly than with the elections court. They would not have detected fraud if Calderon had confessed on one of the telebimbo shows.
Let me give you the news.

I spent the majority of the past few months in Mexico. I was there on election day.

First of all, it is impossible to use stastical evaluations in a country that has communications infrastructure as spotty and unreliable as Mexico's.

But the important point I want to make is this. I was working at two huge gas fired electric plants in Alta Mira. These plants were financed by a consortium of Dutch, German, French and Mexican financiers.

They were built to provide power to new industries that are in the planning stages for the area and will like wise be financed largely with foreign capital.

ICA Flour, the Mexican company that hired me pulled up stakes to head to the Baja peninsula to begin work on new projects there of the same sort.

If López Obrador had won the election, none of this would have gone any further. No one is going to risk providing capital to an unstable, socialist government.

Every one of my Mexican counterparts was sweating bullets while waiting for the results of the election. The celebrations that followed Calderón's victory were hard to describe.

During the six short years that Vincente Fox was in office, the quality of life for millions of Mexican workers has improved dramaticly.

It is true that there are millions more in the central states that have yet to see the effects of the progress....but six years is a pretty short period of time to make the kinds of changes that are necessary before widespread prosperity becomes a way of life for all Mexicans.

You are debating the life and death of a country here and it's obvious you don't even realize it.

If PRD somehow manages to put itself in power, Mexico will be set back decades.

You heard it here first.
Funny thing, Swiftee: I seem to recall you commenting here during the time you say you were in Mexico, and none of the comments I remember you making originated from Mexico. (I'll have to check the records for earlier this year, just to be sure.)

But I do agree with you that we are debating the life and death of a country and its democracy. (Funny, that you care more about "democracy" in Iraq than you do about it in Mexico.) As Charles and others have reported, the PANistas are wasting no time using violence and even murder to impose their dream, a dream which involves letting carpetbaggers and the "elite" run roughshod over Mexican citizens.
Lady, you may disagree with what I have to say; but I do not lie, ever.






It's clear that you have no idea about what you're talking about.

Those "carpetbaggers" signed 10 year agreements with the Mexican government after which, the billion dollar investments they made will be turned over in total to the Mexican Government.

Instead of pumping pure left-wing propaganda into your skull, may I suggest you read a few other sources?

Finally, it is ironic that you speak of defending democracy out of one side of your mouth while championing a guy who has promised to set up a shadow government unless he is handed the legitimate one, what ever the outcome of the judicial system's deliberations.
One last thing to think about.

If López Obrador were seated...just where do you think he would get the money he has promised to redistribute?

Surely you don't believe that those "carpetbaggers" would simply sit by and let themselves get fleeced do you?

The fact is that the kind of capital it takes to start the kinds of industries I saw down there does not exist anywhere in Mexico (unless you count the drug lords..but I don't think they're too interested).

Like all wanna-be communist dictators, Obrador has nothing behind his flapping lips but wind.
Swiftee you ain't too swift

The comment about companies bailing out because of an unstable "socialist" government is a typical right wing scare tactic that has little to do with reality.

and I'm sure you really got to know the "people" in your few months there. Well I lived there for a couple of years, have spent a long time studying the country and am currently working on a story that details the failure of NAFTA and neo-liberalism and chronicles the vast amount of fraud in the election.

"the quality of life for millions of Mexican workers has improved dramaticly (sic)."
you're funny.

right wing buffoonery aside. This is indeed a huge issue. I don't know if AMLO is the answer. I do know that Calderon and PAN's neo-liberalism is most definitely not.
You want to talk about instability. Just wait and watch. The poor got nothing to lose.
Ni un paso atras!
"Just wait and watch. The poor got nothing to lose.

Y tan el plomo oculto la persiana.
Swiftee, your Spanish-- and your common sense-- stinks.

The correct lyric is "No realizas el plomo oculto la persiana." It's a dicho used to translate the song Anti-Social meaning, "You don't realize that the blind lead the blind."

Only whenever you use the word "plomo," you ought to be d--n careful that your listener doesn't take it as a threat. Especially when your Spanish stinks.

Speaking of the blind pretending to lead, Jesus would have told you that now you claim that you can see, it is impossible for God to forgive you. You plainly don't know the Spanish language or Mexican history well enough to know what's going on around you. You don't seem to understand poverty in Mexico or its causes. You are a classic American.

Why come here if you aren't interested in discussing things? Boss put you in your place, so you need someone else to kick? Trouble getting a date?

The "spotty" communications of Mexico has nothing to do with what Mebane is talking about. He's looking at finished data.

And if you think this is about communism or socialism, you are blinder than blind. If you'd read the blog, you'd notice that I'm an investor. I get involved in looking at political issues in many cases to decide investment risk. Mexico is now at toxic waste level, and not because of anything Obrador did.

We have heard the tired story about how this Latin American leader or that is a Marxist. They said it about Lula. If you invested in Brazilian stocks, you're swimming in money. They said this about Chavez. Oil revenues, combined with an honest government, have put Venezuela in the position of become a leading venture capital bank for South America. They will displace the IMF.

In fact, this phenomenon is so well-known that Merrill Lynch put out a report to its investors telling them-- accurately-- that stocks underperform in Republican administrations.

Why is this? Economic growth under moderate left governments is significantly higher, increasing the pie for everyone. There's enough for business to prosper as well. Why? One reason is that there's peace on the streets. Even in Venezuela, the rich-- who sabotaged oil production-- have settled in to making money. Screwing Lopez Obrador has cost Mexico dearly.

But there's more to it. Disease is a huge expense in the developing world. Small investments in public health pay off enormously. Infrastructure development is done more efficiently in moderate left governments. Right-wing governments drown in corruption. Education is better under moderate left-wing governments, creating a better-trained, better-motivated workforce.

I know you don't want to hear this.

I'm sorry to trouble you by bringing it to your attention.

But if you are not going to listen, please don't bother to talk.
Thank you, charles.

Darn it's good to have people like you around.
swiftee what an appropriate name for a Bush Loving Calderon Sycohpant. You come here trying to pull off a Dick Morris-orchestrated SwiftBoat attack on AMLO.

Explain this since you and your ilk love to repeat everything that is fed to you wingnut central.

If AMLO was really going to put "Mexico will be set back decades" why was he praised by Credit Suisse when they called him a pragmatic accomplished politician.

Or this
From 1982 to 2002, according to S&P, Mexico grew at a per capita growth rate of 0.6% a year.

From 2000 to 2005, according to figures from INEGI, Mexico grew at a 0.8% annual clip.

When Fox came in, the Mexican govt. received about 11.5% of GDP in taxes.

With Fox's "supply side" tax cuts, the Mexican govt now receives less than 10%.

And everything Fox did, Calderon said he was going to do the same. It is Calderon who is going to set back Mexico decades.

You may not lie, you just distort the truth. In my book that is worse than lying.
XicanoPwr, the financial press I saw, at least the non-kneejerk press, was generally favorable to Lopez Obrador. They saw in him a Lula, a guy who would work with foreign investors while keeping the social peace.

For example, Business Week:

What if López Obrador wins? Many U.S. executives note that his actual record as mayor of Mexico City, where he cut government waste to pay for social programs and new roads, does not mark him as a Chávez in the making. And many acknowledge that López Obrador makes good sense when he vows to end the generous tax breaks and lax regulation that have benefited Big Business. There's a chance López Obrador could turn out to be like Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian leftist who turned into a moderate as president.

Unfortunately, our right wing seems not to know the story of the Golden Goose, and are determined to squeeze every drop of gold out of Mexico, even if it kills the country.
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