single-member districts, Chamber of Deputies, consecutive terms, percentage of votes, legislative bodies
The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate make up Mexico’s bicameral legislative body. Members of the 500-member Chamber of Deputies are elected for three-year terms, 300 of them from single-member districts, just as in the United States House of Representatives, and 200 on the basis of a complex formula related to the percentage of votes cast for each party’s candidates. The 128-member Senate is elected every six years. Since the year 2000, all members of the Senate have been on the same election cycle. Sixty-four members represent geographic areas (two are elected from each state and the Federal District) and 64 are elected on the basis of the number of votes cast for each party. Senators and deputies may be reelected, but not in consecutive terms.
The Chamber of Deputies has the power to pass laws, impose taxes, and verify elections. The chamber has at times disregarded election vote totals and simply declared certain candidates as winners. The Senate also ratifies treaties and approves certain presidential appointments. It may also authorize the intervention of the federal government in a state by declaring that constitutional order no longer prevails. In practice, both legislative bodies have little power or prestige, and all bills submitted to the president are approved. This is due both to the historical prominence of the president, and to the fact that legislators have little staff support to help them push their own agenda or counteract executive influence.
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