The Lula-Alckmin plate

Image: David Wojnarowicz
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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

Lula's former vice governor would be a kind of early compromise with the right

Explosive news published in the first days of November: the former governor of São Paulo and historic toucan Geraldo Alckmin could come to compose the PT presidential ticket in 2022 as Lula's deputy. If the article did not carry Monica Bergamo's signature, it would be ignored and ridiculed. It turns out that the columnist of Sheet is one of the best journalists in the country (if not the best). Bergamo is often labeled as a petista for the simple reason that she really does journalism.

The exotic possible electoral fold left everyone curious trying to discover not only the origin of the information but its logic – and what would really be real in the middle of that smoke. Alckmin left no doubt. He was light. He declared himself “honored by the memory of his name”, informed that he has no insurmountable differences with Lula and still made a point of highlighting his belief in the PT leader's commitment to democracy.

Lula did not leave it for less. She said she had an “extraordinary relationship of respect” with Alckmin and stressed that there is nothing between the two that cannot be reconciled. But, take note: Lula stressed that a vice-president needs to be of total trust: “the vice-president is a person who wants to be taken very seriously in his relationship with the president, because the vice-president can be president; and then, the deputy has to be a person who joins with the president, and not who diverges”.

Gradually, new information leaked out. We discovered that the magic idea came from Márcio França (PSB-SP), Alckmin's historical ally. We found out that Haddad, the PT candidate for government, also participated in sewing.

Perplexity is the word that best defines the feeling of the PT nation in the face of this strange thing. Repudiation, disbelief, revolt. With few exceptions, even among the most allied sectors of the Party, the Alckmin hypothesis did not manage to gather support. On the contrary.

After about twenty days out of the headlines, bas-fond has resurfaced in a big way. Last Monday, the 29th, in a meeting with directors of four Trade Union Centers (among them CTB, an arm of the PCdoB), the ex-governor of São Paulo revealed that the “federal hypothesis will require work, but it is on the way”.

Lula, the following day, when interviewed by Rádio Gaúcha, went further: “I had an extraordinary relationship with Alckmin in my government; he is defining his political party and we are in the process of talking; let's see if it is possible to build a political alliance; but here's the thing: I want to build a ticket to win the elections”.

The only thing pending to complete the deal would be the definition of Alckmin's new party. I confess that I made a big mistake. At first I didn't have the slightest faith in this strange alliance with strange people. Seu Geraldo, despite having always been a bulwark of toucanism in São Paulo – the longest-serving governor of the state, inventor of the Doria, is at a low ebb in the nest dominated by his former godson. His natural path would be to become a senator for the PSDB.

Alckmin has been threatening for some time to go to Kassab's PSD (in conjunction with Márcio França's PSB) – and launch himself in the dispute for the São Paulo government. In this case, he could even change the game, but he wouldn't have the strength to defeat the toucan machine – not to mention that the conservative electorate has historically shown itself to be organic, not abandoning the PSDB.

Those who believe that Alckmin would have his own strength outside the toucan gear are mistaken. Remember the Sampa mayoral dispute in 2008. Geraldo decided to challenge Serra and was a candidate. Kassab, supported by José Serra and backed by the machine, obtained 34% of the votes – he went to the second round against Marta and won. Alckmin took third place, with 22%.

Considering the hypothesis that right-wing voters would vote for Lula if Alckmin became our deputy is not something serious. At most “narrative” to tame PT militancy and guide the media.

Media that actually decided to help in the operation. Anticipate partial results of research not yet completed. But even in such preliminary surveys, Geraldo would bring us a meager 4 points at most – and only in São Paulo! The former governor is a typical decadent traditional politician (remember that he got a ridiculous 4,7% in the 2018 presidential elections).

Electorally, it doesn't help us at all to put the toucan in the vice. In fact, it can get in the way. It will diminish the spirit of militancy and the engagement of the social vanguard. It will push PSOL away, generate apathy, disappointment and de-potentialize. All this movement strengthens Alckmin – he values ​​his pass. And it's also good for Márcio França, his faithful squire – who directly benefited from the toucan's departure from the São Paulo election.

This crazy design would mess up the electoral scenario, dehydrating the PT ticket in the state: Lula President and Haddad Governor. By the way, can someone explain what our former mayor does in the middle of this mess? The third Lula administration will be the result of a lot of mobilization. It must have a bold program whose foundation is to undo neoliberal reforms.

The markets, the mainstream media and the liberal right know that it is unlikely that Lula will lose the elections. From now on, then, they position themselves to influence the direction of a future government. Lula's deputy Alckmin would be a kind of early compromise with the right. A certificate of good behavior. Genuflection. Surrender. New “letter to Brazilians”. It would be putting the president of the markets' dreams on standby, almost as if he were ordering a future coup. A deputy ready to take over. Lula will not accept this. It's not naive. He has warned several times (vice needs to be absolutely trusted).

I repeat: very good for Alckmin this whole talk – it puts him in the spotlight. On the other hand, all this confusion for the construction of a popular-democratic program and a clearly transformative candidacy is terrible. Hence, the urgent task of the Brazilian left is to dispute the program, character and direction of Lula's campaign. Play our forces beyond the electoral dispute. It is necessary to invest in social mobilization and in the ideological-cultural-programmatic battle. Accumulating forces from now on creating the conditions for a government capable of carrying out structural reforms – and truly transforming Brazil.

* Julian Rodrigues is a journalist, professor and activist of the LGBTI and Human Rights movement.

 

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