The "third round"

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By VALERIO ARCARY*

As of Sunday night, Bolsonarism is expected to launch a political coup campaign questioning the result of the polls

“We easily believe in what we want. Without audacity, there is no fortune” (Portuguese popular wisdom).

This Wednesday's episode was extremely serious. Jair Bolsonaro wanted to create a big turmoil by defending the postponement of the elections, and began to forge a pretext for the coup-like contestation of the result, foreseeing the prospect of Lula's victory. He was repositioning himself for a “third round” of the next two months in which he will still be at the Palace, that is, for the stage that opens after Sunday, with a confirmed defeat.

Jair Bolsonaro is worried about his fate, because he knows that, out of power, he will be investigated and could be convicted and arrested. The false denunciation of the suppression of Jair Bolsonaro's radio programs was an attempt to prepare the ground for a new coup campaign. Jair Bolsonaro is in no position to articulate a barracks: he maintains enormous political influence among the mass of the bourgeoisie, but the ruling class is divided and, internationally, it would be unsustainable. The plan was a frontal attack against Alexandre de Moraes for partiality and the demand to postpone the elections, forging a narrative for his social base. He was obliged, very much against his will, to retreat from the coup provocation. The Centrão has its own interests.

The objective of summoning the commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force and of consulting the leaders of the coalition that supports his government was to seek support for the denunciation of alignment between the TSE and the PT. The truth is that Alexandre de Moraes became an international reference for the gigantic role he played in the fight against fake news.

The centrão defended that this tactic would be equivalent to the recognition of defeat, arguing that there would still be a possibility of winning. Agitating the defense of postponement would put Tarcísio de Freitas and Onyx Lorenzoni at risk in the elections in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. The radicalization tactical turn also tried to seek to change the agenda of the debate for the discussion of an alleged fraud. Until this Wednesday, the 26th, Jair Bolsonaro was on the defensive. The campaign revolved, after “painting a climate”, around Jefferson's bang-bang and the freezing of the minimum wage.

Predictably, Jair Bolsonaro will not accept the results of the polls. As of Sunday night, Bolsonarism is expected to launch a political coup campaign questioning the result of the polls. The credibility of this campaign will depend on several factors, for the time being, unpredictable. It will depend on the difference in the vote, on the degree of demoralization of its social base, on its ability to drive mass mobilizations. They are already testing with calls from Acts for clean elections this Saturday, October 29th. They want to spread fear. The greatest danger that threatens a Lula victory is an increase in abstention due to fear.

Although the polls confirm that Lula's small advantage will remain strictly speaking, the outcome remains undefined. There is still uncertainty. Jair Bolsonaro's campaign missteps fueled a sense of relief on the left. Danger is accommodation in a comfort zone. The most recent DataFolha, this Thursday, October 27th, confirms stability in the presidential election, with 53% to 47% of valid votes, with a small oscillation in favor of Lula. It increased Lula's advantage among the poorest, and Bolsonaro's advantage among those earning more than ten minimum wages.

Lula grew among evangelicals from 28% to 32%. This segment is estimated to be 27% of voters. The poll in São Paulo favored Jair Bolsonaro, with a 6% lead, and he maintains a 10% advantage in Rio de Janeiro. Lula would have a preference in Minas from 48% to 43%, that is, Bolsonaro was unable to increase his advantage in the Southeast. The Northeast compensates with immense difference. In the first round, there were 16 million votes in favor. In the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Lula's advantage is 49% to 41% and free transportation may reduce abstention. In São Paulo 9% can change their vote, against 6% in Minas and 7% in Rio de Janeiro, while among the youngest it is 15%. A third of voters for Simone Tebet and Ciro Gomes can still change their vote. Three days separate us from the polls and we will have last minute decisions, in addition to the Globe.

To the streets, to the streets, to the streets. The fight only ends when it ends. It is time to mobilize the street campaign to the fullest. Every effort makes a difference. Campaign volume encourages militancy. On Saturday, the campaign's closing street marches will take place. The fight against abstention will be decisive. It will be important to guide the vote on Sunday: gather militancy in safe places. Nobody should be walking alone through the streets, much less in bars and other places with Bolsonaristas.

With Lula's victory guaranteed, the immediate orientation should be to take to the streets en masse to celebrate. The mass celebration serves to demonstrate strength, moralize the social base of the left, cornering and discouraging Bolsonarism.

*Valério Arcary is a retired professor at IFSP. Author, among other books, of No one said it would be Easy (boitempo).

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