Cause for concern? In my opinion? His military connections and intent to install retired generals right into the government - Which suggest strongly that the military will play a very large role in the running of Brazil. Military dictatorship style. With Bolsonaro as the 'front man' for that military dictatorship
|First Country He'll Visit is Israel|
Bolsonaro won 55.2 percent of votes in a run-off election against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT), who garnered 44.8 percent, according to electoral authority TSE.
His victory brings Brazil’s military back into the political limelight after it spent three decades in the barracks following the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship. Several retired generals will serve as ministers and close advisers.Military Dictatorhip. I'm getting a real Pakistani vibe here.. Except the leader there is perceived as a leftist...
PERSONALITIES USUALLY matter more in Brazilian politics than parties do. But if Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, wins the presidential election on October 28th, it will be largely because voters despise the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) of his run-off rival, Fernando Haddad (pictured). Dislike of the PT, or antipetismo, “seems to be the biggest party in the country”, wrote Maria Cristina Fernandes, a columnist, in Valor, a business newspaper. Mr Bolsonaro is way ahead in the polls.
Disgust with the PT, which governed Brazil from 2003 to 2016, is justified. In the early years, under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the economy grew and poverty fell. The presidency of his successor, Dilma Rousseff, which began in 2011, was a disaster. Her mismanagement of the economy helped cause Brazil’s worst-ever recession. Corruption on a massive scale came to light through the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) investigations. She was impeached on unrelated charges. Lula is now serving a jail sentence for corruption.
But antipetismo predates Lava Jato, which tainted other big parties, too. Rejection of its leftist ideology, which is legitimate, is sometimes tinged with snobbery. Tereza Ruiz, a teacher, says her father regarded Lula, who never attended university, as a “semi-literate”. Such voters are receptive to Mr Bolsonaro’s message that the PT is uniquely dangerous. It did not merely govern badly and corruptly, Mr Bolsonaro says. Given a second chance in power, it would turn Brazil into another Venezuela, an impoverished dictatorship.
That is a misreading of the party and its candidate. “The PT doesn’t have impeccable democratic credentials,” but it has “always played by the rules of the democratic system,” says Sergio Fausto, a director of the Fundação FHC, a think-tank founded by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a former Brazilian president (and a political foe of the PT). Although voters have strong reason to doubt that a future PT government would be good for the economy, “a disastrous economic policy is not the same thing as extremism,” points out Claudio Couto, a political scientist at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, a university.
Compared with Mr Bolsonaro, who insults minority groups and likes dictators as long as they are right-wing, Mr Haddad is a reassuring figure. Though his party leans left, he is a moderate. A former professor with degrees in economics, law and philosophy, he was education minister in Lula’s government. Mr Haddad appointed university rectors on merit rather than political connections, a novel policy, and designed ways to increase enrolment of poor and non-white students.
As mayor of São Paulo from 2013 to 2016 he reduced a budget deficit and secured for the city an investment-grade credit rating. But he angered drivers by making more room for cyclists and pedestrians. To poor voters, he came across as aloof and professorial. In his bid for re-election in 2016 he was thrashed.
For much of this year’s campaign the PT has talked mainly to its base, poor people with fond memories of Lula’s presidency. That made some sense. It was with their votes that Mr Haddad entered the second round. But it reminded other voters of what they most dislike about the party.
Rather than showing contrition, the PT expressed self-pity. The impeachment of Ms Rousseff was a “coup”. Left-wingers like Gleisi Hoffmann, the party’s president, have talked of pardoning Lula. Many Brazilians fear that the PT would put a stop to the Lava Jato investigation if it regained power.
Its campaign manifesto, written while Lula was still the PT’s candidate (he was disqualified on September 1st), bears the stamp of the party’s left. It suggests that overspending on pensions, the biggest threat to economic stability, will be solved by economic growth and cutting benefits for public servants (it won’t). The plan calls for a reversal of a labour-market reform carried out by the current president, Michel Temer, and more lending by state-owned banks. It would require the central bank to target employment as well as inflation. It proposes, ominously, a constituent assembly to revise the constitution.
After entering the run-off Mr Haddad moved towards the centre. He has begun speaking about the PT’s “errors”; replaced PT red in posters with Brazilian green and yellow; and disavowed parts of the manifesto, including the plan to summon a constituent assembly. He promises to curb spending and resists the idea of pumping up growth with subsidised lending. He avoids talk of pardoning Lula, to whom he has stopped paying prison visits. Ms Rousseff’s administration did not impede the Lava Jato investigations, he points out.
But Mr Haddad and the PT have probably left it too late to convince Brazilians that they have learned from their mistakes. As a result, Brazil is poised to elect a president who poses a real threat to the country’s young democracy.