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By SIMON PEDRO*

An end to the year of enormous challenges for the Brazilian left

In recent days, data from two opinion polls on the situation and evaluation of the Bolsonaro government have been released. One is the one commissioned by the magazine Examination in partnership with the Ideia Big Data institute, which shows Bolsonaro at an advantage over his potential opponents, including Lula, with whom he ties between class D and E voters, that is, the poorest, and wins among the richest.

The other survey is that of the PoderData Institute, which shows that 50% of Brazilians approve of the Bolsonaro government while 41% disapprove of it. But the latter, much more complete, shows that among the 24% who think the government is fair, the number of those who disapprove of the government grows and also shows that approval has dropped in the Northeast, despite the intensification of the president's agendas in that region in the last month. That's what I want to reflect on.

It is important to note that both surveys were carried out using telephones and cell phones. There is a lot of questioning about this methodology, since the acceptance rate for being interviewed is small compared to external interviews or in homes. This leads to the inference that whoever gives an interview is already politically predisposed, and also has the order of the questions that can influence the answers.

What is verified according to the research, which uses this methodology, is that the Emergency Aid, the release of the FGTS and the PIS have really brought relief, -in addition to the fatigue of the Pandemic, despite the 125 thousand deaths and 4 million contaminations so far , -served to leverage the former captain's approval. However, this curve is returning to a downward bias, as seen in the segment that evaluates as fair and in the stability of approval and disapproval. This is due to many factors: 1) Emergency Aid will decrease and may even end since the 2021 Federal Budget did not provide for anything in this regard and many people still have difficulty accessing it; 2) the economy plummeted and stalled for good (-10% in the last quarter); 3) the cost of living has increased a lot, a 5kg package of rice already costs R$30 reais – in Lula's time it was R$10 reais, remember? 4) unemployment does not go down, quite the contrary; 5) small and medium-sized companies are going bankrupt and industry and commerce see no way out, only agribusiness is going more or less in this government, even so it is already the great world villain of deforestation and destruction of the Amazon along with Bolsonaro.

But supported by this still good assessment, the neoliberal minister Paulo Guedes and the fascist president are passing the cattle on everything, in a kind of marriage between these two destructive ideological currents, just look at their latest initiatives: the budget proposals for 2021 that cut R $ 31 billion from Health and the administrative reform, which proposes the end of functionalist stability. Some central axes of this connection: 1) the classic delivery of public assets and now of services to the Brazilian state, accelerated by the military-militia government, in a model copied from Pinochet's Chile; 2) the flexibilization and destruction of regulatory frameworks for work, union organization and workers' rights, coming from the Temer government, which destabilized the political strength of unions; 4) the weakening of the state as a market regulator and provider of the welfare state, which also leads to the weakening of the public service and consequently the image of the public servant; 5) a new configuration of work now on a platform that worsens precariousness, but, politically, can provoke aversion to formal and stable work in public tenders; 6) political chaos via stimulus to hatred and misinformation through fake news networks and the mainstream media linked to the interests of the financial and religious system; 7) the political, media, legal, police and religious system that remain, despite their contradictions, amalgamated by Bolsonarism.

Another ingredient in this broth is the role played by some governors, such as São Paulo's new great toucan, João Dória, who despite occasionally diverging with the president on technical issues of facing the Pandemic, on the issue of the destruction of the State goes along the same lines of the economic area of ​​the central government. Taking advantage of the general “distraction” caused by the devastation of lives caused by Covid-19, it tries to approve an “administrative reform” that ends funding from universities, extinguishes companies and strategic autarchies for the development of the State, structuring of public policies and provision of fundamental services to the population, with the aim of “cutting costs”.

Here in the State of São Paulo, the challenge is to defeat Dória's PL 529/20, adding to the struggle of civil servants who will lose public jobs and that of the population and social movements who will lose services such as rural technical assistance, popular housing, among others.

At the federal level, civil service organizations, with the support of progressive parties and trade union and popular movements, will have to organize resistance so as not to let this ill-fated administrative reform pass, or the “bombs” that Paulo Guedes promised to put in the pocket of civil service. right-wing representatives, in Congress, like President Rodrigo Maia, and in the mainstream media, as Folha de São Paulo and Rede Globo have already demonstrated. It won't be easy, but there is a challenge for the union movement to start overcoming the defeats it suffered with the union, labor and social security reforms. The first caused unions to lose more than 3 million members.

Still on an institutional level, the big challenge for parliamentarians on the left, allied with progressives, is the fight to extend the Emergency Aid of R$ 600,00 until the end of the Pandemic and its replacement by a permanent Citizenship Basic Income program, along the lines proposed by the tireless Eduardo Suplicy. Without this, the tragedy that already affects millions of Brazilians will be much worse, with real possibilities of social upheavals and increased violence, caused by the despair of many fathers and mothers of families. In this field, our parliamentarians did well, imposing defeats to the neoliberal economic wing, as when they approved a higher value than the government proposed for Emergency Aid and in the approval of Fundeb.

And then we have the elections and the campaigns that start at the end of this month. After the 2016 defeat, this will be a great opportunity for the Workers' Party to regain political muscle, electing mayors and councilors, mainly in major cities and capitals, and imposing defeat on Bolsonarism and its alike, which now comes as a more organized political force in society. But an obstacle to this is the division of the Left into important locations and where precisely the right-wing and extreme right forces played hardest to defeat the Left in the 2016 and 2018 elections: São Paulo, Rio and Belo Horizonte. Unlike Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Belém and Recife, for example, where PT, PCdoB and PSOL march together, here in the Southeast this unity was not achieved. A risk that is too big, but one that, at this time of the calendar, it will be difficult to change course.

Bolsonarism, a system that combines ultraneoliberalism and fascism, takes advantage of the wave of economic and social chaos to raise approval ratings via emergency aid, however, it strongly demonstrates its weaknesses and contradictions so that progressive forces can act in defense of the population and society. national sovereignty, as long as they do it together to win victories. In this scenario, enormous challenges are imposed for those who understand that resistance and not conformism is the way to continue to be trodden.

*Simao Pedro he was state deputy (2003-2015) and municipal secretary of services in the government of Fernando Haddad.

 

 

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