In Brazil, Left Gives a Show on How to Lose Power

With minds concentrated firmly on the race for the Oval office this weekend (though we might rightly think of ourselves as a Latin-fused version of Wonkette.com), it’s slim pickings in the English language coverage of the São Paulo race.

Perhaps the month-long gap between voting rounds confused people (lest I sound like an imperialist, why not just have a proper proportional system and be done with it?). Anyhow:


“When Michigan State-educated sexologist Marta Suplicy was elected mayor of South America’s largest city, the talk was that her next stop would be Brazil’s presidency.”


Cough, splutter. Though they are bang-on regarding why Marta will probably lose tomorrow:


“Yet Suplicy, 59, a former TV commentator on sexual behavior, also has grown a reputation for arrogance and aloofness. Moreover, she’s done exactly what Brazilian wives aren’t supposed to do: shed her popular Brazilian lawmaker spouse for a handsome new Franco-Argentine husband.”


But elsewhere, it’s merely a case of the mid-term blues for the PT. And the worst part?


“But a projected loss in the party’s liberal stronghold of Porto Alegre, where it’s ruled almost uninterrupted in the 16 years since military rule ended in Brazil, is the most stinging.


Da Silva’s Workers’ Party grew out of urban opposition in São Paulo to Brazil’s long military dictatorship.


But its first real victories were in Porto Alegre, the capital of the southernmost state of Rio Grande de Sul.


In recent years, the city has become synonymous with the annual World Social Forum, hosting a gathering of left-leaning political groups and global nongovernment organizations.


Porto Alegre swam against the tide of conservative federal governments in Brazil that preceded da Silva’s election.


Then, heartened by his campaign pledge to create 2.5 million jobs a year, improve social services and narrow the gap between rich and poor, Porto Alegre backed him stoutly in 2002.


Now, a dismayed coalition of opposition groups has grabbed the lead in the mayoral race, not to mention the Workers’ Party’s basic campaign promise of 2002: change.”


OK, the PT might cope with the loss of Porto Alegre and São Paulo if it holds the reigns to the presidency, even though in a federalised country like Brazil its political fortunes seem fragmented and to be receding.


But to the outside world, particularly the anti-globalisation buffs, it merely demonstrates the Left’s perennial ability to lose power in a spectacular fashion.


Enough of my analysis, what about the sentiment on the ground?


“Olivio Dutra, former Workers’ Party mayor of Porto Alegre and ex-governor of Rio Grande do Sul state, predicted a comeback victory.


“We have never easily won an election, and isn’t that great?” he said.”


If you say so. And now for a brave face:


“Marcelo Deda, a former Workers’ Party leader in Congress and current mayor of the northeastern city of Aracaju, countered that gains in midsize cities nationwide will offset losses in a few big cities.”


For more information and analysis of the São Paulo and other local Brazilian results, visit the election blog being run by Guy Burton and Andrew Stevens at www.saopaulo2004.blogspot.com.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

In Brazil Market for Breast Cancer Drugs to Grow 40% in 4 Years

The breast cancer drug market in Brazil will grow from US$ 424 million in ...

Cover of MST's pubication Terra Magazine

Brazilian Democracy Is Working Great… on Paper

More than 125 million Brazilians will go to the voting booths on Sunday, October ...

Brazil’s Supreme Grants Injunction and Boy Sean Goldman Stays in Brazil

Minister Marco Aurélio Mello, from the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) decided to grant habeas ...

Favelas Will Change When People Feel Proud of Living There

When someone hears about life in the slums of Brazil, Kenya or other places ...

Obama Wins Primary in Brazil by a Landslide

The Democratic presidential candidate senator Barack Obama won his 11th consecutive victory in a ...

300 Policemen Take Over Two Rio Favelas. Operation Olympic Clean Up Starts

With the occupation initiated this Monday, November 30,  of the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo favelas ...

Is Elis & Tom, Special Edition, Worth the Trouble?

How many people will want to pay for a DVD-CD combo when their equipment ...

Brazil: Threats Don’t Deter Indians

Despite all the efforts to prevent the holding of the 33rd General Assembly of ...

Brazil Sends Donation to Lebanon and Palestine to Help in Reconstruction

Affonso Celso de Ouro-Preto, Brazil’s extraordinary ambassador to the Middle East, announced today, September ...

A Plan to Make Brazilians Read

On the average, a Brazilian reads less than 2 books per year; 1.8 books ...