Back in 2006, Mexicans went to the polls in what was a contentious, controversial and ultimately very close presidential election. The result wasn’t what roughly half the population wanted. And that half of the population were angry. Very angry. The protests went on for what seemed like years – possibly because it was years. There was even a protest outside my home, which Obrador once visitied to do a little anger-stirring shouting. There was a large electoral office across the road, so this wasn’t surprising. They had legitimate reasons to be angry even if their chosen candidate was not a legitimate president.
I understand their anger. I am angry. A lot of people in the UK are angry. It seems to me this happens when one or both (genuinely competitive) political options move to, or close to, the extremes. The same is currently true in the United States. But less so in places like France and Germany. When parties are largely contesting the middle ground, the losing side are annoyed more than they are angry.
We go to the polls today in the UK. When the election was called in April, the result was seemingly a foregone conclusion. Since then the polls have narrowed and a fair number of Labour supporters have become quite the optimists. Tomorrow they will wake up disappointed. And angry. Very angry. I live in hope of a hung parliament myself, but that is a longshot and then some.