Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Back again

So it's done. The final words have been written and a chapter closed. The blog that Andrew Stevens (of Guacamoleville and Race4CityHall) began on the Sao Paulo election has come to an end.

Although the result never looked in doubt (we could have used an American-style, knife-edge scenario as is currently happening between Bush and Kerry), the results were interesting and would be worth following over the next few weeks. There's nothing like elections to shake up the dynamics between and within parties. And it certainly looks like things may well happen in Brazil over the next few weeks and months.

The PT not only lost Sao Paulo, but also it's symoblic centre, Porto Alegre. To lose one would be bad luck; to lose two sounds irresponsible. Before the election campaign prominent petista Emir Sader had written a paper (which I linked to back on 13 August) which indicated that if the PT held Sao Paulo the moderate tendency associated with Lula would prevail within the party; if Sao Paulo was lost it would strengthen the left, which is most closely linked with Porto Alegre. But I don't think Sader envisaged the PT losing both.

On top of the PT's defeat is the effect it will have on its main rivals: the PSDB. They have strengthened their position for 2006, with presumably Geraldo Alckmin, the state governor, as the most likely challenger to Lula for the presidency. There's also the question of what will happen to the PSDB's allies, the PFL; the older generation was already being eclipsed by the younger, more technocratic stars in the party. Antonio Carlos Magalhaes was having informal meetings with Lula in the summer (winter months in Brazil), but his position will be weakened by the failure of his protege, Cesar Borges, to win in Salvador.

While I don't plan to do a regular briefing on the state of Brazilian politics, I do hope that now my duties over at Prefeito Paulistano are over, I will be able to revist them here (and maybe over at Brazzil, if Rodney will let me).

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