Brazil: A Growing-Up Democracy

While the police strike is moving throughout the country, the Brazilian democracy seems to be growing up as its political parties’ answers are becoming less populist and more effective.

History shows that the Brazilian ruling party started to become a major political power due to its influence over unions and other social movements during the military dictatorship that ran the country until the mid 1980ies. After the end of the regime, many of the former communist guerrilla groups got together to create a moderate socialist party leaded by the unionist Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva that would become the country’s president in 2002 after four unsuccessful attempts.

Da Silva and his Workers’ Party became really famous not only because of their strong speeches in favor of a higher minimum wage and labor conditions but mainly due to their strength in controlling violent strikes all over the country. Even tough, it was not the workers’ class that managed to elect him.

After four attempts as a typical unionist leader, the Workers’ Party hired Duda Mendonça – that would become the Brazilian propaganda guru – to transform Lula in a new leader capable to win the national election.

An Armani suit, a well-shaved beard and a conservative speech mixed with some Keynesian ideas were the big moves to make him the new president (and, some years after, to elect the Peruvian radical Ollanta Humala as the president of his neighbor country).

This new style not only elected him, but also created a new image strong enough to let him govern the country for eight years and to elect Dilma Roussef – his main minister – as the new president in 2010.

After ten years ruling the country, Dilma’s government showed that the Workers’ Party grown up. A week after privatizing three airports – what would make them wrathful one decade ago – the neosocialist answer to the police strikers was not really different than the one usually given by right wing leaders: “My call to the policemen is directed to ask them to come back to work (…) and that we must sue and punish the ones who committed violence during the protests”, said Jacques Wagner, the Workers’ Party governor of Bahia.

Despite being a tough situation that must be solved as soon as possible in order not to hinder carnival celebrations, the police strike helped to show that the Brazilian democracy is going forward as its political leaders are aiming at efficiency State no matter if it means to cease with their famous populist speeches.

Many problems still need to be solved, but as politicians goes toward a new way of doing politics, a bright future starts to become possible.