Elections, precatories and COP-26

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Commentary on recent events

While annual inflation reaches double digits, the worst manifestation of the disease in 30 years, interest rates rise, institutional uncertainty grows over the conduct of economic policy and elections approach.

Although it is in 2022, the presidential election points to the sharpening of the conflicts between Lula and Bolsonaro. In context is the very survival of the 1988 Constitution. With Lula victorious, there will certainly be the construction of a wide range of alliances aimed at governance with defense of the Constitution, especially in the expectation of maintaining and guaranteeing basic rights and consequent participation of interest groups in the conducting public policies.

Today, with the Bolsonaro government, this dynamic imagined in 1988, as a guarantee of a perennial and stabilizing democracy, is suspended. The episodes of the last September 7, with the clear attempt to coup the democratic institutions in operation, serve as a warning about the future possibilities with the re-election of the current occupant of the Planalto.

If the current president is re-elected, there will certainly be pressure for drastic constitutional changes, favoring even more an elitist and centralized system in public administration. The disjunctures recall the political conditions existing between 1930-37, with Vargas becoming an implacable dictator in the face of strong opposition from social groups mobilized by progressive forces in the then Brazilian society in a frank process of modernization. Paying a high price, with social repression and press censorship, Vargas then won and prevailed until 1945, extrapolating all the constitutional limits in force in that historic court. What would happen to Brazil, under this renewed authoritarian and corporatist trend?

In this context, the pre-candidacy of Sergio Moro (Podemos) arrives. He is already pinching a third place, tying with the eternal candidate Ciro Gomes, in the opinion polls. When launched in Brasilia, it makes a vague allusion to the country's main socioeconomic problems, but a strong intonation on corruption and the malevolent persistence of political dysfunctionalities generated by the privileged forum for elected representatives, as well as the existence of the reelection mechanism for executive posts.

Very little to historically and valiantly open horizons, but enough to amalgamate support in public opinion with little knowledge and information about the functioning of the State and Politics. A strong candidate, to be contemplated with the support of the disillusionment of Bolsonarismo-root and with the needy for a “third way” that escapes what is established in public opinion. PowerData survey (November 08-10) indicates that 26% of Bolsonaro voters, repentant, want his impeachment!

Meanwhile, in the latest Genial/Quest poll (November 10) Lula appears leading with 48% of voting intentions in the first round, against 21% for Bolsonaro, Moro 8% and Ciro Gomes 6%. In the second round Lula would win (57%) in all scenarios, against Bolsonaro (27%), against Moro (57%) to (22%) and against Ciro (53%) to (20%). The government's negative rating rose from 55% to 56% in one month, while the positive rating dropped from 20% to 19%. PoderData (November 08-10) ratifies the same trend: 61% disapproval of the government; with negative consideration of Bolsonaro (bad or very bad) by 57% of respondents.

In addition to Bolsonaro's negative assessment, his government's disapproval and the regret (26%) of his electoral base now wanting impeachment, join the difficulty of affiliating with a party to run in 2022. His entry into the PL has just been postponed , under various allegations, but which are centered on possible candidacies for the government of São Paulo.

 

PEC of Precatories

On the other hand, the Federal Chamber has already approved the PEC of Precatorios, with many highlights to be evaluated from this November 16th, including three alternative proposals (Oriovisto Guimarães /Podemos-PR; José Anibal/PSDB-SP and Alessandro Vieira/Cidadania -SE), which do not affect the spending ceiling and redirect the rapporteur's amendments (R$ 16 billion) to the financing of the Brazil Aid, in addition to ensuring the payment of a large part of the precatories. The expectation is that the Senate will resist the proposal approved by the Federal Chamber.

It should be noted the reaction of the STF which, based on the injunction issued by Justice Rosa Weber, dismissed (8 x 2) the secret administration of the rapporteur's amendments (November 10). There is a lack of transparency on the part of the Legislative leadership, but Arthur Lira is already working – a draft resolution – on the elaboration of the Board of the Chamber, with the purpose of maintaining control of the billionaire funds of the parliamentarians and that aim to increase clientelism with a view to the elections of the next year.

 

COP-26

The COP-26, in Glasgow, is closed. Pressures against the use of fossil fuels; resistance from China, India and Australia to the use of coal; first rules guiding the trade of carbon credits; methane gas limitation agreement are the highlights. In addition to the lack of effective commitment by rich countries to finance countries with large deforestation and increased general pollution, but lacking in resources. Promises remain, huge repercussions of the environmental problem – which is not trivial – as an instrument of pressure on denialist governments like Brazil. Notable was Brazil's non-governmental presence, illustrating the apathy of official authorities and the neglect of international pressure. Trade agreements in progress, and which are yet to be implemented, such as Europe-Mercosur, will be yet another proof of Brazil's weariness due to its production of commodities without due respect for existing natural resources. As, incidentally, the new record for deforestation in the Amazon in the last month of October attests.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB and a consultant for Empower Consult. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

 

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