Political relations between Mexico and the U.S. have seldom been cozy, and if Mexicans end up electing leftist Mexico City Mayor Manuel Lopez Obrador president, we may go through another rough patch with our neighbor to the south.
But let's not miss the most important point about Sunday's voting: For the second time in a row, Mexico has pulled off an honest national election.
In the long-run it isn't critical whether Mexico has a pro-business or semi-socialist government. (With a working democracy, the Mexican people will correct the excesses of one party or the other.) It probably doesn't even matter most what the U.S. does about immigration and trade relations.
The most important thing that can happen in Mexico is that democracy keeps working - that elections stay honest and that Mexico continues cleaning up its police, courts and government bureaucracy.
It is also important that Mexico continue President Vicente Fox's policy of investing in education.
An honest, educated Mexico is the best thing that could happen to Mexicans, and that will be great for Americans, too.
First published: Thursday, July 6, 2006