The mysterious reggaeton bangers of Mexico’s election

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FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns of the past were more enjoyable that today’s anxious, apocalyptic affairs. Sadly, a phobia of risk-taking among campaigns has killed them off in many countries. Modern candidates will sooner piggyback on popular songs (usually ones with drab titles like “Beautiful Day” or “New Sensation”) than craft an original. Silly, self-congratulatory jingles risk looking undignified.

Yet a new model of campaign song is slowly emerging. An unaffiliated person can release a song, and if it strikes a chord the campaign can “adopt” it for official use. The two songs that…Continue reading

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