Note on the election



Lula's victory in the first round would have more strength to ward off any coup attempt

Political analyzes of the election and its results can be summarized into two main types. Those that affirm a single scenario, and those that analyze several scenarios, even admitting the highest probability of one of them.

In general, analysts influenced by the social sciences are used to working with different scenarios, often comparing them to each other. Therefore, they work with the complexity of the political context, seeking to ascertain the role and weight of its main actors.

“Politicians”, professional or otherwise, tend to analyze a single scenario, and exaggerate its results in order to obtain better benefits, whether personal or not. Thus, it is common to find the military coup as the only post-election scenario, in case of Bolsonaro's defeat. Undoubtedly, it is a possible scenario, but it is far from the only one.

The Army's superior commands have already demonstrated against any coup adventure. It would be difficult for military police, militiamen or members of the CACs to act without military cover. This does not preclude the possibility of isolated actions likely to be spurred on by the losing captain. What can happen is unpredictable, the losing president will be tempted to imitate Donald Trump and his invasion of the Capitol, but, whatever happens, it would not have the potential to change the election result.

Of course this is a hypothesis. But it is a hypothesis based on the firm action of civil society, with emphasis on the Fora Bolsonaro demonstrations last year and on the various political acts this year, such as the Charter for Democracy, which reached more than one million signatures. In addition, it is fair to mention the firm action of the STF in defense of the electoral calendar, and of the TSE in defense of the electronic ballot box, blocking the attempt to turn the tables, by some military personnel.

Last but not least, the US government has been pressing in favor of the Brazilian electoral process. He has already sent three diplomats to defend the electronic ballot box and send a message to the military: no coup! Even the Attorney General's Office – which demoralized the Public Ministry by turning itself into Bolsonaro's criminal defense office – did not dare to meddle in the electoral calendar. Thus, in view of the pressure from society and the international situation, the hypothesis that the election takes place and its result is respected cannot be ruled out, as has been the case with recent analyzes that have more repercussions on the bravado of candidate B. than on the correlation of forces.

Politicians, whether professional or not, behave mainly according to two main characteristics: strength and interest. Their positions change over time, since interest and strength are changeable. Thus, it is common for a politician to change his position or party, which, by the way, in Brazil means nothing, it is a mere association without principles.

Those who act on the basis of their ideas, on the other hand, change much more rarely, as ideas do not change with the speed of interests and the correlation of forces. Even in our midst, supporting Lula's campaign, we found comrades who in 2018 defended Sergio Moro and supported Lula's arrest. Or who demonstrated at the beginning of this year against the broad front to defeat the candidate president, and now enthusiastically support the broad front against fascism.

When it comes to analyzing the political situation, “politicians” change very easily depending on their interests and the new correlation of forces. The “ideological” ones are more faithful to their principles and political positions. The former tend to be more conclusive in their single-scenario analyses, while the latter are more careful and allow for multiple scenarios.

But there is a common element: what Jair Bolsonaro is going to say, everyone knows. He will say that he won and that there was fraud in the calculation. The question in the air is what his supporters will do. One of the few certainties that we can have on the eve of the election is that Lula's victory in the first round would have more force to ward off any coup attempt, in any form, than a painful second round, full of traps and probable violence, even with Lula's practically certain victory, according to polls.

In the last days before the election, the campaign for the useful vote of the voters of Ciro Gomes, Simone Tebet and voters still undecided becomes the great priority that can guarantee the victory in the first round. It is the task of the moment.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor of sociology at PUC-Rio. He was deputy (PT-RJ) and Coordinator of the Global Forum of the Rio 92 Conference. Author, among other books, of Democracy reactsGaramond).


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