As Brazilians go to the polls today for the first round of voting for the presidency of the country, PSDB candidate Aécio Neves has passed PSB candidate Marina Silva for the first time in intentions of the voters. If this holds true, Neves will dispute the presidency with the incumbent, President Dilma Rousseff of the PT who leads the pack of intended votes with 40.6%. Neves, having passed Silva on the last day before today’s election, now has 24% of the intended votes while Silva falls to 21.4%. In Brazilian elections, if no candidate earns 50% or more on the first round of voting, the top two go to a run-off election on October 26th. Yesterday saw Neves complete his comeback, rising 4.2% points to wrestle second place away from Silva who fell 3.8% points into third place.
Among the rest of the candidates from the PSOL, PSC and PRTB carry 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.5% of votes respectively with the others totally only 0.6% together. 5.2% of the voters plan to vote blank or null with 5.8% still not knowing how they will vote.
For Marina Silva, her fall to third place is a dramatic fall in a little more than a month’s time. After taking over her party’s ticket after the tragic death of presidential running mate Eduardo Campos in an August plane crash, Silva stepped in, immediately passed Neves and was running neck and neck with Rousseff. Some polls were predicting that Silva (dubbed the “female Obama” by the international press) would unseat Rousseff in a run-off election by anywhere from 4-7 points. Being hailed as an anti-establishment candidate, Silva surged ahead of Rousseff in a country discontent with the high cost of living and spending on last June’s World Cup, among other issues. These were but a few of the issues that lead to mass protests throughout the country in the summer of 2013.
But since her peak in late August/early September, Silva has seen a dramatic fall as the former rubber tapper fell in popularity every week due to a combination of factors (see here). The Folha newspaper and TV Globo interviewed 18,116 voters in the past two days and showed that Rousseff would win in a run-off against either of her two rivals, predicted to defeat Neves 53%-47% and Silva 55%-45% with a two point margin of error.
Other factors in Silva’s fall included heavy media attacks on Silva by Rousseff’s campaign that put into question the PSB candidate’s ability to lead the country with the support of a major political party. While there are several political parties in Brazil, the two most powerful are the PT (Worker’s Party) that has held the presidency for the past 12 years (8 with Lula da Silva and 4 with Rousseff) and the PSDB, known as the Tucanos that produced President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s presidency for 8 years (1995-2002). The current PT campaign also successfully portrayed Silva as flip-flopper and representative of national and international elites that intend to reverse social policies that led to the gains of the lower classes in the past 12 years. Adding to Silva’s fall was Neves’ good showing in the final debate while Silva came across as weak.
As one headline put it, Dilma stands firm on the offensive, while Silva looked tired of the attacks coming from both sides while Neves came across as re-energized after a surge in the latest polling numbers. Being the most hotly contested race in decades, it will be difficult to predict exactly who will face off on October 26th due to the competition for second place when the margin of error is factored in.
Source: Brasil Post, The Day, Yahoo News, Info Money Brasil, Brasil 247, Reuters UK
Is this blog promoting Silva because she’s Black or because she’s a good candidate? Nobody is largely talking about Silva in the US except for Democracy Now.
But they picked up on a point that you ignore largely in your post, in-fact you trump it as an reason to vote for her.
“But critics worry that as an evangelical Christian, she would implement right-wing social policies.”
I think you’re forgetting the Right Wing Military Rule in Brazil. Being highly religious is seen as Right Wing to most people.
That’ why she’s 3rd in the poles…
I am happy that Brazilians have woken up! One thing that international news outlets don’t get is that the temporary spike we saw for Marina was SOLELY because her running mate had just died, and Brazilians wanted to give her some support at that time. But what has become clear is that she is an environmental activist – not a president. And Dilma is more of a department store manager or a nice school principal than the dynamic leader Brazil needs right now. It is clear, to any logical person following this race, that Aecio Neves really needs to be the president, as he is the ONLY candidate with a record that demonstrates positive results. And he appears to be the only front runner who is able to debate without having to refer to notes DURING the debate.
It is important that Marina, a Black woman , has had a second chance at the office. But she is categorically unprepared to be the president of Brazil.
Aecio Neves? The same guy chosen by international bankers in 2004? The guy who wants UPPs in all of Brazil? No thank you!
Yes Aecio Neves, the guy who:
Insituted that children begin school 1 year earlier than every other state in Brazil, and provides scholarships to underpriviledged kids who finish school.
Cut government spending during his mandate.
Supports lowering the voting age to 16.
Is an economist who might be able to regain international confidence so that foreign investors continue to invest in the country so that it can continue to grow.
Impelemented the “Stay Alive” program in his state to give vulnerable children opportunities to something to do other than join gangs and sell drugs, thus, reducing the overall crime rate in his state by 30% during his mandate (and as we know, poor Black boys are the MOST susceptible to straying while they are young)
Has advocated for greater governmental transparency and ethical processes during his time as governor
Instituted the best health care program in the southeastern region (as evidenced by things such as a 17% reduction in infant mortality rate during his watch)
Yeah, I do prefer him over an evangelical extremeist, environmental activist who has not demonstrated that he is ready to be president, or a deparment store manager (Dilma) who has already demonstrated that she cannot handle the job.
I won’t get into political arguments here because it is clear that we stand on different sides of the fence on this issue… In general, I trust NO POLITICIAN! The game is not set up for politicians to truly be on the side of common people…
Scholarships, great. Would like to see who actually got them.
Cut government spending? When people have the same opportunities, fine. When there are consistent inequalities, I disagree.
Lowering voting age to 16? Ridiculous! What 16 year old is interested in politics? At this age people play video games and imitate ridiculous pop culture. And they’re supposed to vote on issues they most likely never even thought about?
An economist trained in typical world economics that support elitist bankers? Get real! Wake up call. If you’re not part of the world elite, banking and economics as taught in colleges are NOT made for the rest of the world!
Foreign investors? You mean foreign exploitation?
Advocate greater governmental transparency? What politicians say and do often don’t match. Barack Obama also ran on this and promised this and did the EXACT opposite. As corrupt as Brazil has always been, why would you believe that?
The other points I will say, there are always apparently good sides to what politicians do. But often times once you study the whole picture instead of only the side they present, you see the cracks, lies and other sides that they don’t talk about.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate for any politician. I’m simply one to say, “Don’t believe the hype”.Like any other politician, there is a reason why Aécio was selected by elites many years ago. And those reasons usually are in favor of more oppression of common people.
Well, I understand the mistrust for Brazilian politicians because of the history of the country. Corruption is so endemic to politics here, that I think it might be more realistic for Brazilian citizens to keep educating themselves about politics (rather than clinging to the notion that politicians are ALWAYS against the best interests of the people), holding pressure on their elected officials (just as they have begun to do more consistently), and expect for more changes to happen gradually over time, rather than all at once. The average person I know here practices corruption in their everyday lives in the form of “jeitinho brasileiro” pretty much non stop, if they have the right connections. Expecting officials to live to a higher standard than they themselves are willing to live with is hypocritical and unrealistic. However, telling the politicians that they want to see change and holding pressure until they get it is NOT unrealistic.
To see who got the scholarships, do the research about the scholarships received by public school students in Minas Gerais, and you will find them.
Cutting government spending on useless people doing unnecessary things, while investing in public programs like schools and youth facilities and a strengthened Bolsa Familia Program (as Aecio Neves did) is exactly the kind of thing I want to see.
As far as economics are concerned, I would respectfully disagree with your assertion. Your country began to turn around when Cardoso, and economist, implemented a monetary system that actually works (in addition to laying the groudwork for many of the social programs you have today). Without economically intellegent leaders running the country, Brazil runs the risk of becoming another Argentina or Venezuala – both of which appear to have economies that are broken beyond repair, and elected officials who think that raising the price of apples and toilet paper for a majority that now has little wealth, will help with the problem.
And a LOT of the opportunities and economic growth Brazil has seen over the last decade is a direct result of a stable monetary system coupled that gave foreign investors the confidence to invest money into the country. This is a good thing for the country! You will ALWAYS have your elite sitting in their castles. In the meantime, though, I want to continue to see companies that do not yet exist in Brazil continue to invest in the country and its people. I am sure that the people who work at places like Microsoft, Apple, Ford, Johnson&Johnson, foreign -owned call centers, wind turbine plants, and car companies would agree with me. Before you had massive foreign investment in the country, people were stuck working for dictatorial owners of family owned companies. I definitely do not want to see the country move back in that direction because multinationals have lost faith in the economic stability of the country. The past year has already shown that foreign investment is drying up, the Real is weakening, and that the hyperinflation that plagued the country in the past is creeping its way back into our live.
As far as Obama goes, he has pretty much been transparent with the American public (but you would not know this if you only read Right-leaning publications). To decide for yourself, you must go directly to the White House website and follow the progression of things without the input of paid political pundits. Then you will see, quite clearly, that everything the president has said he would do, he has done – or at least attempted to do. But you must also realize that he is limited in what he can do unilaterally, and we have an old, white majority Congress that has stated time and time again that they will categorically oppose EVERYTHING the president proposes. As America is not a fascist dictatorship, and the president must often rely on Congress to make progress, much of his presidency has been limited.
Aecio Neves has a clear record of advocating for and executing greater transparency during his mandate. I wish more people would read about their candidates before categorically dismissing them 😀
And to Brazilians, I would say that throwing your hands up and saying “all politicians are corrupt elitists who do nothing and do not support the people in any way, shape, or form” is a dangerous and unproductive attitude to take. I here it all the time about the governor here in Fortaleza, and people are always shocked when I run down a laundry list of all the things this governor has done for the state in the short time I have lived here.
I would say get the facts and quit expecting for politicians to magically change a system that has been in place for over 400 years, and closing your eyes to the positive changes that HAVE been made just because someone is from a different class. I say support the people who have actively demonstrated (as Aecio Neves has) that the needs of the people ARE a concern!