Municipal elections — the reactionary factor

Image: Gül Işık


The struggle of the political situation in Brazil is not only in the context of deepening democracy or not, but in the context of the survival or not of democracy

The debate on public policies takes on an accentuated shape in the current context, in which political articulations are organized in correlations, with municipal elections on the agenda throughout the Brazilian federation. The most problematized contents within the scope of political divergences between democrats and reactionaries (here the term reactionary is not a mere “cliché”, given the naturalness with which there has been denial of scientific and political axioms in recent times) permeate objectives and narratives mainly in questions of customs and budget, or more generally, on questions of culture and economy, of which the moral character of public administration is at all times the focus.

The moral factor comes into force forcefully not merely because of the ethical constitutional principles that guide public administration (that of morality, for example). But due to the fact that customary guidelines take on the ethical ideas of sociability, where the reactionary camp acts to explore its ultra-conservative flags, polarizing with militancy and progressive and advanced ideas, including the discussion about the State.

Consequently, as we know, the struggle of the political situation in Brazil is not only in the context of deepening democracy or not, or even in the path of updating or modernization, but in the context of the survival or not of democracy. Thus, another parallel that can be analyzed, therefore, is how reactionism can use legislation to suffocate or delegitimize democratic processes, and in turn, public debate.

This, based on the evidence of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sophisticate fake news, being disseminated on a massive scale aimed at delegitimizing the political field. A spectrum where there will be no shortage of interests and respective narratives from “legislative fronts” skeptical of a democratic society project and related political game in constitutional terms. It is now possible to reactivate the metaphor, due to an established fact, of “tides and their waves” in politics, as the message from the reactionary camp in parliamentary spheres, streets and networks is that they are not only surviving, but that they are having “volume warlike.”

All this penury, which has as its motive and result the relativization of democratic institutions, in stricto sensu, that is, in what they actually are and represent (albeit with their critical weaknesses within the democratic field itself). There is a need to reflect on the institutional political structure based on presidentialism. Presidentialism, which carries with it the accumulation of powers, governmental and state, in itself demonstrates weaknesses in view of the condition of convincing parliament in decision-making processes, and on the other hand, this being a condition for its own legitimation vis-à-vis state bodies.

This is a complexity, even problematized by more than one political current, from progressives to conservatives, where the big question is what the alternative would be. Bearing in mind that parliamentarism would be a situation of greater decentralization of power, and that it would hypothetically relax decision-making processes, automatically impacting public administration. However, being even further away from resolving the threat of regression by the reactionary camp that openly demands, if not dictatorship, then absolutism (crazy!).

From this point of view, it is important to understand the consequences of extreme situations in the political field on the material and psychosocial reality of civil society, especially the most vulnerable population. Which in some cases start to discredit democracy itself, and even question whether democracy exists. This is another point explored by the reactionary camp. Because, if there is no feeling of democracy, then there are no attacks on democracy from them (the reactionaries).

Events of this type translate into political spoils that, as seen in the process of impeachment (coup), by President Dilma Rousseff, were exploited by the ultra-conservative sectors of parliament, based on the anti-political narrative and the judicialization of governance. Theme closely related to the concept of post-truth as an input for disinformation, from traditional and non-traditional media sectors. Currently being more intense due to the “informality” of internet pages and channels, and social networks, deliberately fake.

In practice, all these elements of the political context, which, as mentioned, also form a social phenomenon, need to be seen as part of municipal elections. Bearing in mind that the characteristic of municipal public power is decentralization (or autonomy) in relation to the federation, and, therefore, less centralized than the presidential election. With less control, at the same time they are no less mobilizing. And that the central ballast of the disputes focuses on the budget and public administration, which is something much more concrete than the abstraction of narrative debates fake Furthermore, for this objective, a type of “decentralized mobilization” is formed.

It is worth noting that this situation is not only (or merely) a means of structural political composition of municipal elections within the scope of candidacies. But directly related to the country's economic policy delegated in a federative form, which has public policies as the link between the type and quality of public services provided to citizens. Taking, as examples, Parliamentary Amendments and bidding processes. Thus, we are talking about city halls that suffer or participate in political (and non-political) pressure in an acute way, often impeding the variables inherent to public policies, including transparency.

*André Lemos is a sociologist and master in education.

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