Confirmed the election of Dilma Rousseff as successor to Lula, the next October 3, Brazil can live in an unprecedented period in its history. Besides having the first time a woman ruling the republic ever, 2011 must begin with a hegemony in Congress that, in theory, will cripple the opposition to lulismo (as Lula’s political influence is called).
Since the name of the officialist candidate started to shoot the polls, and with the prediction that the government succeeds in the House of Representatives, the opposition began to see the Senate as his trench of resistance. But even that seems not easy.
A survey made by Congresso em Foco, website specialized in politics, points that at least 63% of the 81 senators (three per state) would be in favor of Dilma during her tenure. Eventually overwhelmed by the vote at the national level, the opposition has expressed concern that the hegemony of Lula and his allies put at risk the young Brazilian democracy.
After two terms of Lula and a possible mandate of Dilma, opposition politicians and media, ditto, say that Lula’s PT can turn into a Brazilian version of the PRI party that ruled Mexico without interruption for seven decades.
The comparison, however, seems exaggerated. After all, there are no signs that the elections in Brazil are corrupted. Nobody mentioned that the PSOE ruled Spain post Franco for 20 years without causing any astonishment. And if Al Gore had won the elections in Florida in 2000, the Democratic Party of the United States also had accumulated at least 12 years of power, following Bill Clinton’s two terms.
In fact, countries that may serve as more appropriate reference for the political struggle that occurs in Brazil, are Venezuela, where opposition disappeared, and Argentina, where the govern fight the main political battles against the media.
For Lula’s luck – or misfortune of Brazilian democracy – the national media failed to gain legitimacy as a representative of society. If the Argentines Clarin and La Nacion influence a significant proportion of the electorate, in Brazil we can say that traditional media has become the voice of 4% of the population that, according to surveys, disapprove the Lula government.
The question then is who will in fact oppose an eventual government of Rousseff? The answer, interestingly, can be the allied base. It is estimated that Lula and Dilma’s PT and the Dilma’s vice presidential candidate, Michel Temer’s PMDB, elect together just over 200 of the 513 Members of Congress. If confirmed as the two greatest forces in parliament, both parties must share the leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In an article published recently in the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo, the philosopher Lerrer Denis Rosenfield, a professor at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, notes that the PMDB, which was present in all governments since the return to democracy in 1985, can be a factor of political moderation.
When scoring an eventual victory Dilma will be shared with the physiological PMDB, Rosenfield notes that despite being steeped in their own interests, that party does not seem inclined to endorse the weakening of representative democracy. “Even to save his worst side, representative democracy must be preserved”, says Rosenfield.