In the spotlight – XXI

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By BENICIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

The scenario now features the municipal elections for the second round next Sunday, especially in large centers such as Fortaleza, Recife, Belém, Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Rio. These cities are objects of increased attention from all political forces. The effects of a municipal election are always the same in relation to the elections that will come for the legislatures and for the executives in all states of Brazil and in the Union in 2022. The result of the municipal election is a relevant variable in predicting results and trends of the electorate for the next elections, that is, for 2022.

The novelties of the first round were the performance of the center-right that seems to be reviving and the presence of a very strong opposition to the so-called exaggerations of the counter-identity language of Bolsonarism in almost all of Brazil. This does not come together in a tendency of clear opposition to the Federal Government, but it means, above all, a great wear and tear, especially when taking into account that the government still has two years to go. Let's see what happens.

The racial issue, brought to the forefront with the murder of a black man at the Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, became relevant in the process of replacing the current mayor of the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. This is an unexpected event, but of the same type as past events that have decided the outcome of elections, such as, for example, the relationship between the murder of three workers at Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional and the election a few days later of Luiza Erundina for mayor. from Sao Paulo. Evidently, the situation is not the same, but it is expected that pertinent effects of this moral debacle will happen.

The paralysis of the National Congress mainly affects the fiscal issue, as the government's internal public debt grows and the operational deficit widens. Attempts by Paulo Guedes and his team to take initiatives to promote “great reforms” – which, according to them, would take advantage of the situation to reduce the Federal Government's deficits and bottlenecks – have not been successful.

It should also be remembered that, in the scope of the tax issue, complementary law number 101 is being processed in the National Congress, which deals with tax relations between the states and the Union. Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Goiás and Ceará are the most affected states, as they are deeply indebted to the Union. The outcome of this process – for the time being paralyzed – may signal what will be determined in the midst of the tax reform itself, which will certainly come in 2021.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the great movement of Rodrigo Maia, encouraged by the results of his party in the municipal elections, in order to capitalize and catalyze the support of the opposition and the centrão in Parliament for the election of the next President of the Chamber. Position that may be occupied by himself, depending on a decision of the STF scheduled for December 4th.

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

 

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