Between fear and hope - the Brazilian elections

Brazil goes to elections today, but polls do not predict a very different tomorrow. Brazilians elect today 1,059 state legislators, the entire 513-seat lower house of the federal Congress, a third of their 81 federal senators, governors of all 27 states and a president.

If to judge from an economic perspective (which is sometimes a very good predictory sign), the recent fall in the Brazilian stocks is mainly due to the markets foreseeing more of the same. So, markets favor candidate Marina Silva for president over incumbent  Dilma Rousseff. But what do Brazilians themselves prefer?

Polls repeatedly tell that Rousseff's popularity is stable. Analyst tend to attribute this to so called popular measures of her government:

  • the reduction of the federal tax in the energy bill;
  • the exemption of federal tax in the products of the consumer basket (meat, milk, beans, rice, flour, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, sugar, coffee powder, cooking oil, butter, bananas and apples)
  • The lowering of the overnight rate conducted by the Central Bank of Brazil 

I tend to be one of those who believe that Roussef shall end victorious. Maybe even after a single round. My reasons are less to do with international analytsts and more with the wind that is sweeping the entire continent. South-America has been seeking a different, more balanced form of government, than the neo-liberal direction it is recommended by economists.

If that prediction is true, and Rousseff is able to win despite the criticism surrounding the constructions for the soccer world cup and the coming Olympic games, and even despite Brazil's defeat in the soccer world cup, then all analysts who predicted a close race should take a long hard look in the mirror. Any politician and any ruling party that can survive such a sports disaster, have much deeper roots than anyone estimted.

[update: on October 26 a second round of elections shall be held, between president Dilma Rousseff of the PT and Aécio Neves of the PSDB]

[update: Rousseff was relected. ] 

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