Algumas impressões para os amigos americanos. Não concordou? Complete!
Brazilians tend to vote in a very straightforward way, evaluating their own income growth and voting for the opposition if they are not doing better economically. That does not mean that they will vote for the candidate the current president is supporting, as the results of the elections showed; voters started to think seriously about the election in the very last days and asked for some more time to evaluate the candidates’ proposals. Now we have to wait and see.
The Social Democrats have more programatic affinity with the Green Party, but the Green candidate comes from the Workers’ Party and has personal and ideological ties with it. The Workers’ Party candidate supports growth at any cost, and for a large sector of the Brazilian population that discourse resonates well. (Remember that developmentalism is still part of the political consensus in Brazil (maybe in LA); what you have is variations: a slightly more fiscal conservative developmentalism, slightly more environmental developmentalist, and so on and so forth.) In São Paulo, I believe, due to institutional and political reasons many votes for Marina will end up with Serra, but I don’t know how the transfer will happen in other states. No one does, so that is what people are discussing now, and the parties are doing intense negotiations.
In the last elections we had already seen the following trend: in tax-paying states PSDB was clearly ahead; in states that receive federal transfers PT was ahead. This time it might have been even more pronounced; one would have to check the numbers. We pay; we want accountability. We receive; we want to make sure the transfers (for the public sector and for individuals) continue.
Some feel that democracy is at stake in this election. PT has been testing the boundaries of what can be done in a democracy but the institutions have showed to be quite strong. Some feel that the most dangerous people of PT will have more power now than they had with Lula, a pragmatist above all. I myself was more worried before the elections. I was afraid of PT’s overconfidence; I thought we might be going towards a “Chavização”. But Brazil is a big country and we tend to lead Latin America more than be led. So, if we go this way it will be, frankly, because this is the way we decided to go. The elections showed this is not exactly the way we want to go, so the game is open. Even if PT wins again, they took note of the message.