Brazil has discovered a third way?
Brazil is not a country in love with the third way. South American voters, over the years and elections, became used to be divided between the PT (Workers' Party) and the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party). Since 1995, these parties rule Brazilian government. An alternation that, in Italy, would be defined as perfect bipolarity.
- Tuesday, 02 September 2014
Also the tragic death of Eduardo Campos, ex-Governor of Pernambuco and PSB's (Brazilian Socialist Party) candidate for the presidency of the republic, who died on August 13th in a plane crash in Santos, has opened up new scenarios in national elections.
Campos, Minister of Science and Technology during Lula's first term, decided to embark on a new political path, forgetting the leftist government of Dilma and allying himself, mainly due to technical issues, with Marina Silva, ex-Minister of Environment and who had already been candidate in 2010 elections. In the course of his race for the presidency, surveys indicated that Campos had always stood in a range between 7 and 10% of Brazilian's intention to vote. A result slightly below expectations, but understandable when compared to the strength of the opponent: on one hand President Dilma Rousseff and on the other Aecio Neves, Tancredo Neves' grandson.
As usual: PT x PSDB. The turning point, hard to say whether if it is going to be definitive or not, arrived with the official announcement of Marina Silva candidacy, the natural successor of Campos. PSB - in the days after the tragedy of Santos, which killed also 6 other people - had also probed the availability of the widow Renata Campos. The intention, of course, was to mitigate Marina's position, vice-president candidate but not the party's choice. The ex-Senator of Acre, which remained out of the presidential race because of her own movement "Rede Sustentabilidade", had reached agreements with the States and Federal government thankfully to her friendship (and the mutual interest) with Eduardo Campos. The fear was that the death of the ex-Governor could cause internal divergences.
But the opposite happened: Brazil opened the third way and Marina has recovered ground in the polls. In the last IBOPE research, commissioned by TV Globo and the newspaper "O Estado de S. Paulo" (famously for anti-government positions), the candidate of the PSB would be elected in the second round with 45% of the votes. In the first round, the voting intentions still shows Rousseff ahead with 34%; Marina Silva then 29% and finally Aécio Neves with 19%. Luciana Genro (PSOL) and Pastor Everaldo (PSC) would collect 1% fo the votes respectively. As the right of Aécio Neves is still not very effective and there's a pretty strong emotional wave, Marina has managed to open up a space in the two-horse race. Consistent but flexible, the ex-Senator of Acre has a life story to embarrass even the beloved Lula.
She grew up in a really poor family in the North of Brazil, was a domestic worker and aspiring nun for many years in her adolescence; learned how to write and read only at 17 years old and until today bears the consequences of mercury poisoning suffered in Amazonia during childhood. It is an unusual but perfect candidate for the Brazilian electorate: she is a very active environmentalist; does not deny the social struggles and progress of Lula's administration and is a protestant practitioner. The right-wing and anti-government press, in order to avert a second term and a possible return of Rousseff and also a return of Lula in 2018 that would mark the hegemony of PT, is prepared to support the candidacy mildly. In this scenario the loser is especially Neves. Marina has showed up very safe in the first public debate between the candidates: now it's up to you to continue to open the third way in a political unity between the meshes of bipolarity.