Odiario on Brazil election

Odiario.info is a site maintained by Portuguese Marxists. They published the following commentary on Oct. 6, the day after the first round of the Brazilian elections. Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party got 41.5 percent of the vote, against 33.7 percent for Aécio Neves of the Social Democracy Party and 21.3 percent for Marina Silva of the Socialist Party.

The victory of Dilma Rousseff in the first round of the Brazilian presidential elections was expected. But the advantage of getting eight points more than Aécio Neves is not broad enough to ensure her re-election on Oct. 26.

The campaign, inspired by the North American model, was depressing.

It took only three weeks to tear apart the image of Marina Silva, who, after the death of the Socialist Eduardo Campos, had emerged as a favorite.

This candidate of “hope” who heralded drastic changes and who is a pastor of the thriving Assembly of God Evangelist Church, rapidly changed to one of an opportunistic demagogue committed to big capital.

The electorate eventually inflicted a crushing defeat on Silva.

The surprise was the large vote obtained by Aécio Neves, a political right-winger, the former governor of Minas Gerais state and candidate of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB, which is really a neoliberal party, founded and headed by former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso).

Rousseff won in 15 states; Neves surpassed her in nine, of which the most important was Sao Paulo.

Any prediction about the outcome of the clash between Rousseff and Neves would be speculative at this time. After her great defeat, Marina Silva said she was ready to support Neves in the second round. The sum of the opposition votes [in this round], 57 million, is much higher than those assigned to Rousseff, 43 million. But influential political observers admit that most of the 19 million votes obtained by the evangelical pastor are not transferable to Neves.

It would be a romantic illusion to expect that Dilma Rousseff would change, if re-elected, the strategy of her first term, which was a clearly neoliberal trend that she tried to cover with a thin progressive veneer. Her economic policy favored transnational corporations, banking and the large Brazilian companies. Significantly, she counted on the support of U.S. President Barack Obama and international finance. But in the second round Neves is the candidate preferred by Washington and the big Brazilian bourgeoisie. This support, however, will probably not be enough to open the doors of the presidency to him.

In elections for the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the governors of the 26 states of the federation, the results were unfavorable for the Workers Party (PT), Dilma Rousseff’s party.

Translated by WW managing editor John Catalinotto.