two elections

Image: Silvia Faustino Saes


The defeat of Bolsonarism and the rise of a “new” left

There are three general consensuses in the media about the result of the 2020 elections: the defeats of Bolsonarism and Bolsonaro, the spraying and breathing of the left. The defeats of Bolsonarism and Bolsonaro are evident and do not require great explanations, and should be understood in light of the type of victory of the left. Spraying, on the other hand, is treated by the Huck-Moro media as the prevalence of the center field, as it could not be otherwise. The conclusion of the media is a deduction beforehand.

The 2020 election should be seen in two parts: an election for the legislature and another for the executive. It is common among parties the idea, little empirically proven, that a good executive candidacy leverages the legislative ticket. And so it has been since redemocratization. The electoral reform championed by Cunha partially fulfilled its objective: to centralize votes in the major parties. However, like every law, it presented its contradictions and paradoxes when applied, when placed over and under reality.

Never has the election of the legislature been so detached from the election of the executive. What was a phenomenon of right-wing parties spread to the left. The cases of Rio and Porto Alegre are exemplary, where the performance of the PT, PSOL, PCdoB and PDT was different from the performance of the majority candidate.

The election for the executive is controlled by the party machine, in which only one candidate must be chosen. This election reproduced tradition, leaving the electorate between the Bolsonarist project, the traditional left project and the traditional right project. What did the executive election show? It showed that between the traditional left and the traditional right, the traditional right, led by the rise of the DEM, has an advantage. It makes sense! In a context of doubts and crisis, the voter usually chose the one who already governed. Covas' speech against Boulos about the latter's lack of experience probably stems from this perception.

Elections to the legislature do not have such effective control over the party machine, as the essential thing is to complete the list or have as many candidates as possible in order to reach the electoral quotient. Of course, the candidate needs to have some basic work, but the evaluation is more unorthodox. Here, Carlos da Quitanda enters, which is unthinkable for the distinctive (and financial) rites of choosing to run for the executive.

What did the polls show about the legislative election? First, as already mentioned, the defeat of Bolsonarism (here it is not just Bolsonaro). Military and civil police dropped sharply in big cities, as well as olavetes and anti-vaccine Bolsonarists. This is evident in major urban centers such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Porto Alegre. The traditional right also lost space, in fact, a lot of space. The savior center of the media and the market, which in fact won the executive, did not do so well in the legislature. Strictly speaking, compared to the election of the executive, following the idea of ​​correspondence, it was bad.

The difference is the election of the left. The election of the left brings messages to everyone, especially to itself. Traditional candidates, generated by redemocratization and the New Republic, were partly replaced by the left electorate for a more popular, identitary and youthful left. What was left, survived by recall, not without damage, such as the decrease in votes. The PT bench in São Paulo is an exception. The individual and collective candidacies of women, blacks and trans people stand out.

Warning: the term identity is not used pejoratively, as in some circles on the left, but conceptually. We explain: the identities used here are experiencing an emergency with the outbreak and deregulation of the world of work, in which unions, traditional pillars of the left in the New Republic, weakened, especially after the Labor Reform of 2017. Formal work, with a formal contract, a multifaceted identity is emerging, ranging from race and gender, the two with greater capillarity, to Fulano do Uber, Ciclano dos Deliveradores, Beltrano dosApplications, as happened in the City Council of São Paulo and in a few more.

If before there was Fulano da Saúde, Beltrano do Transporte, Joãozinho da Educação, now there are candidates in tune with other identities, with younger identities. PSOL, by far, is the party that most presented this type of candidacy, achieving great projection in the two main chambers of the country, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Ahh, but there are 5.000 more municipalities. Yes, but the rise takes place in the country's main electoral colleges, in the most urbanized and problematic cities, which tend to set the tone for medium-sized cities. Bolsonaro won in fewer cities than Haddad in 2018, but he won by a large margin in large and medium-sized cities. The message of the big cities often decides the wishes of the small towns. The message is: PSOL is the main winner of the 2020 elections. And understand, PSOL's victory is concluded without going into the merits of Boulos's election. It is victorious only because of what happened in the legislative election.

Of course, these candidacies still have little ability to debate public policies, budgets and the like. But this is not their fault, but the advance of neoliberalism over the Constitution and the world of work. In a way, they are the popular expression of this contradictory process, and the way in which the people are opposing it. Conquering this capability is now the full responsibility of the parties.

The traditional left-wing candidates lost space, or rather, were replaced. This means that the perspective that the left electorate has about leftist candidates is changing. The traditional candidates who won, or those more linked to traditional agendas, such as Tarcísio in Rio, have a strong intersection with identity agendas. Those who don't have, suffered with the decrease of votes or with the non-election.

One city drew attention, and should be analyzed as a case study. In Ribeirão Preto, land of palocism, PT and PSOL elected three councillors, with a decrease from 28 to 22 seats in the Chamber. Of the three winners, two are popular mandates linked to the black movement, women's movement, LGBTIA+ movement and housing movement. The other winner, a 21-year-old student activist (PT), was forged in student demonstrations against the Bolsonaro government in the first year of government. The PSB elected two more left-wing candidates, linked to a neighborhood neglected by the Public Power. This neighborhood is also home to the largest MST settlement in the region, which, it should be said, is considered the “capital of agribusiness”. In addition to the lands of left-wing chiefs, the city is also full of right-wing chiefs. Today, Baleia Rossi is in evidence, national president of the MDB and virtual candidate for the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.

There is currently a councilor from the PT and another from the PDT in the city council, who can be classified as left-wing, but with more institutional and traditional activities (both are doctors in a city that has one of the best ratios of doctors to inhabitants in the country , which does not mean that there are doctors at the health posts). The five elected have a completely different profile, promoting the most left-wing bench in the city's history, including the first Palocci administration, when it was still classified on the left. The election of the two candidacies by the PT also presents the possibility of throwing a shovel at palocismo, which, surprisingly, still survives on the flanks of the municipal PT.

In São Carlos and Araraquara, two important cities in the center of São Paulo, candidacies of the same profile by the PT, PSOL and PC do B won. in the last election for governor, Dória would not win from France). Visibly, the expectations of the left electorate changed from a male, white and progressive candidate, or a white woman in a feminine suit, to a woman, black and popular.

The more sociological reasons for this change are objects for another text. The electoral motives are much more focused on Bolsonarism. This profile is the object of Bolsonarism, and it was the profile that most turned against Bolsonarism and Bolsonaro. After all, it was Marielle Franco who died at the hands of right-wing paramilitary groups linked to Bolsonarism and the president's family. Probably, this profile managed to assert itself politically, socially and existentially (“my existence is hurt…”) to the advance of liberal proto-fascism. The Twitter notes of traditional left-wing politicians were not enough.

The fact is that these candidacies managed to break through electoral and group bubbles, as the number of votes cast by some candidates in some neighborhoods seems to indicate, giving the impression (needs a more rigorous analysis) that they entered certain more conservative circles, such as evangelicals. . Russomano's and Crivela's debacles also indicate this. The latter was placed in the second round by a religious and militia operative on the eve of the election. And, why not, the rise of Boulos, whose identity is that of a movement that has no direct and formal link with the world of work, is another indicator of this change.

Boulos, by the way, was one of the few non-traditional candidates that the left chose to run for the executive (Manuela is at an evident intersection with the women's and youth movements), and, not coincidentally, he was the one who had the most political results. . In Belo Horizonte, another example, even with Kalil's certain victory due to the way he behaved in the pandemic (opposition to Bolsonaro), Áurea Carolina, from PSOL, obtained an impressive 8,33% of the valid votes.

The attempt to reconcile these worlds seems to have failed. The most assertive attempt was that of Rui Costa, who chose, despite the black women's collectives of the party itself (machine over militancy), a black military woman, seeking to conciliate precisely what the electorate did not want to conciliate: a milder Bolsonarism and the identity and popular agendas of the left. It should be noted that the candidate is not a Bolsonarist, but the image depends more on the situation than on personal desire and conviction. She was a military police officer in a city where Bolsonaro enjoys the greatest rejection among capitals. Rui Costa made the biggest strategic mistake in recent years, in the name of traditionalism and the machine. He failed against a DEM candidate chosen by ACM Neto, who faced Bolsonarism in the pandemic and granted the same social and legal status as churches to Candomblé terreiros, a historic demand of the black movement. Reconciliation is not possible! Between the traditional left and the traditional right, the traditional right had a large advantage.

In summary, it is not the scattering of votes in the executive for a center created artificially by Eduardo Cunha that explains the defeat of Bolsonarism and Bolsonaro, but it is the rise of a new profile of the left in the legislature, since it was he who managed to establish the polarization to the liberal-proto-fascist project. The choice of candidate for the executive is controlled. Of course, he will be a white man with a traditional profile, both on the right and on the left. The election for the legislature allows analyzing what really happened with the votes and their explicit and implicit messages.

The polls spoke for leftist parties. Some will disappear due to the barrier clause disguised as a quotient, others will have to be reformulated. The fact is that the election was positive for the left, despite the absolute numbers. A left emerged in the chambers that tends to run over Bolsonarism, the traditional executive and party machines. Let's see how everyone will respond. Bolsonarism and the executive, controlled by the traditional right, we already know. It remains to be seen what the party machine, especially the PT, will respond. If you respond like Rui Costa, it will be cancelled. And it won't be on Twitter.

*Igor Grabois, economist, he is director of Grabois Olímpio Consultoria Política.

*Leonardo Sacramento He holds a PhD in Education from UFSCar. Author of The Mercantil University: a study on the relationship between the public university and private capital (Appris).


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