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Alienation of politics and the erosion of democracy

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Alienation of politics and the erosion of democracy

Democracy exists not only because it is enshrined in our highest law, in laws and regulations. It truly exists only when it is accepted by the community of citizens, when it lives in their hearts. And for democracy to be effective, it is imperative that, at every moment in history, citizens see a democratic political system as the best way to address the challenges we face in terms of collective development. And that, as temporarily dissatisfied as they may be with the current political actors, they agree that this is still the best way to discuss and find answers to the major problems facing society. That is why the participation of citizens in electoral acts is so important.

In some elections, such as those for the European Parliament, it is clear that many voters (wrongly) do not consider these elections very important to their lives. And in the elections, which seem to have been decided initially, as in the case of the elections for a second presidential term, the low turnout is also understandable.

In the legislative elections, the number of abstaining voters grew at an alarming rate, reaching over 50% in the last elections. Although, interestingly, voter turnout in absolute numbers has declined by only 10% since 1983.

But when talking with people, especially young people, you can see that there is growing disbelief in the system, in the ability of elected representatives to change what goes wrong in the country – from health care to education, from justice to social security. , from stagnant growth to wages in third world countries, from bureaucracy to corruption. This frustration is increasingly shared by the less youthful, gradually dwindling in the hope of building a more prosperous, more solidary society, with more equal opportunity, with better governance of public affairs that rewards merit and punishes shortcomings. This disillusionment is contributing to a gradual but clear erosion of confidence in the democratic regime. Therefore, given the impotence to improve the political representation and functioning of the regime, more and more citizens distance themselves from political discussion.

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In this entertainment-dominated society, we need politicians who avoid the temptation to tweet about political frivolity or minor issues that are part of the head of the day or focus on the very short term. We need to focus on the medium to long term, on what is important to improve and reform our society. So that there is enough sublimity and seriousness in politics, so that there are those who speak – and there are those who listen – about the main problems that concern society.

We also need mass media resist becoming a simulacrum of the immediacy of social media.

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Politics

Where are blacks and women in Rio de Janeiro candidates?

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Where are blacks and women in Rio de Janeiro candidates?

A poll conducted with Electoral Court candidate registration data found that since the start of self-declaration of race in 2014, this is the year with the most black candidates (black and brown) participating in the electoral process.

In 2022, 49.49% of people applying for political office declared themselves black, up 2.95% from 2018. However, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, the national scenario is not repeated.

Read more: Brazil’s main arms group has four tentative candidates in Rio de Janeiro

According to the website of the Higher Electoral Court (TSE), Rio de Janeiro has registered a total of 2,726 candidates for the general election to be held in October. There are a total of 1,268 blacks, representing 46.52% of the candidates, and 1,381 whites, representing 50.66%.

For the President of the Board of Trustees of the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Ibase) and member of the Black Coalition for the Rights of Vania Sant’Anna, Rio de Janeiro is developing, albeit at a slower pace.

“It is important to say that the state of Rio de Janeiro has always nominated and elected black men and women who are also competitive in the polls – for positions on the council, in the allergen. [Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro] and the Chamber of Deputies. Benedita da Silva, Jurema Batista, Carlos Alberto Cao Oliveira, Edmilson Valentim, Edson Santos, Marcelo Diaz. And many others who were not elected, but showed a strong response in the elections, as, for example, in the case of Lelia Gonzalez, ”comments the historian.

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More: SC and SP are the only states where only whites will run for state governments.

According to Vaniya, the memories of the path traveled by all these political leaders inspire black youth to become more active in the electoral process, running for public office. However, according to the activist, it is important that political parties also take responsibility when presenting a structure of representative candidates for the Brazilian society.

“Political parties must do their part to strengthen black activists who are focused on fighting racism, discrimination and eradicating racial inequality in Brazil. The figure is surprising to many, but blacks make up the majority in the country, don’t they? So it makes sense that this percentage is at that level. The question arises, given this profile, what will be the results of the polls, ”he reflects.

women in politics

In terms of women’s participation in politics, the figures for the state of Rio de Janeiro are very close to the national figures, which show 67% of male candidates and 33% of female candidates.

In Rio, according to the TSE, 68%, i.e. 1856 of the names registered for participation in the general elections, are men and 32%, i.e. 870, are women.

Read more: Among the 70 richest candidates for governor, there is only one woman, in 30th place

Compared to 2018, the participation of women increased by 1%. This year, as in 2018, there are more black women in the state of Rio than whites. In total, 449 black candidates submitted registrations to the electoral court, and 392 registered women who declared themselves white.

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However, the number of white women and 24.8% of black women registered as candidates is down 28.47% from four years ago.

Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro

Editing: Mariana Pitass

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“If we had a democracy, Bolsonaro would not have

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“If we had a democracy, Bolsonaro would not have

Brazil is going through a difficult political moment that combines political-electoral violence with the risk of an institutional breakdown. President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) bears the main, but not the only, responsibility for the situation. Many hands have contributed to the erosion of Brazilian representative institutions, including much of the national political spectrum that has failed to respond to the challenges it has faced since 2015.

This is the diagnosis of Mara Telles, political scientist, professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and president of the Brazilian Association of Election Researchers (Abrapel), presented in an interview Brazil de facto.

As for the current Bolsonaro, Telles is categorical: “If we were in a democracy, Bolsonaro would no longer be president.”

“The proof of dishonesty he closed with praise. He committed not only crimes of administrative dishonesty, but also crimes of corruption, inciting hatred, provoking violence, attacks on all institutions, from universities to TSE, STF, ”he lists.


“His government is a product of violence,” says Mara Telles of Bolsonaro/UFMG.

Read more: Alexandre de Moraes takes over TSE amid problems caused by institutional crisis

“It seems strange to me that we are here today in a situation of normality, as if reality is suspended. I find it dystopian: while the president says he is going to make a coup, he is preparing a coup, he is presenting the coup to the world in the presence of about 70 diplomats. Here we are checking whether there will be not a revolution, but the production of a revolutionary discourse.”

The current violence goes beyond Brazilian standards

The analysis of the political scientist, one of the first analysts to point to the possibility of Jair Bolsonaro winning the 2018 elections, begins with the assassination of PT candidate Marcelo Arruda in Foz do Iguacu by Bolsonarist Jorge Guaragno, which, for Telles, is different from the violence that already exists in the country. “Violence in Brazil is structural, and political violence has existed in Brazil for many years. The number of mayors and councilors killed in Brazil is simply amazing,” he muses.

However, the current violence is different in that it is “built on an ideology” organized around the figure and speech of the president. “We see a president who, long before becoming a candidate, was already promoting a speech about attacking institutions, where instead of institutions we would have the production and reproduction of hatred. Although he says it’s a metaphor, his supporters take it as truth and action. It does not act, but encourages action,” he says.

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:: On Father’s Day, the widow mourns the death of Marcelo Arruda: “Killing the father of the family is inhumane” ::

She believes that this militant discourse, which dehumanizes opponents, has led to an increase in violence in general. “You have an incentive to violence from the president. When we think of the violence in Brazil, we think of femicide, the execution of people in the mountains, as happened recently in Complexo do Alemão, in Jacarezinho. , the invasion of communities is not an invasion, it is an execution,” he analyzes.

“Usually in such cases, even in cases of femicide, the one who executes the woman is a significant part of the police. As happened in Foz do Iguaçu, where the victim was a municipal guard and the other weapon belonged to the police. Officer”.

This violent discourse has several branches, whether it is the glorification of police massacres or measures to facilitate and encourage the purchase of firearms by the public. The number of people with firearms licenses rose from 117,400 in 2018 to 673,800 in June this year, a 473% increase during Bolsonaro’s tenure, according to the Brazilian Public Safety Yearbook. According to data from the National Armaments System (Sinarm), linked to the Federal Police, the number of registered weapons in Brazil has skyrocketed from 637,000 in 2017 to almost 1.5 million in 2021.

:: Threats against Duda Salabert and Manuela D’Avila signal an increase in gender-based violence in politics ::

“His government is a production of violence. And especially now that he is in a not very favorable situation for the 2022 elections, he has radicalized attacks on institutions, on the TSE and encouraged violence not from his side, but from his followers. Telles accuses. “There’s a saying that everyone knows: I’m not afraid of the boss, I’m afraid of the security guard on the corner. It’s the one with the gun who will carry out this speech promoted by the president.”

Democracy x destruction of institutions

Returning to the death of Marcelo Arruda, the political scientist refutes the version that what happened was the result of political polarization between Lula and Bolsonaro, which would increase the anger of both sides. “It was quite clear that this death did not come from polarization. Polarization is when both sides are armed and killing. In this case, there is someone who kills and there is someone who dies,” he says.

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The professor believes that since 1994 there has indeed been a polarization – in fact, almost bipartisanship – between the PT and the PSDB, but the situation is different from what is happening now. “Polarization is not happening with the LP, the Liberal Party. On the one hand, there are people who are trying to protect democracy, institutional functioning, and on the other hand, an ultra-right group that is divided into several parties and wants to destroy institutional structures… This is a process of polarization not in a democratic environment, but between democracy and authoritarianism,” he concludes.

bad loser

Building this risk scenario for an institutional gap, according to the political scientist, was not a simple and quick process. She sees the roots of the current turmoil in the PSDB, and more specifically in the figure of Esio Neves, the acronym candidate for the presidency of the republic, who was defeated by Dilma Rousseff (PT) in 2014.

“This process of institutional disruption begins when the elite does not adhere to democratic norms. When the losing candidate Esio refuses to recognize the results, demands a recount, goes to court to prevent Dilma from graduating, we open a Pandora’s box there. ” evaluates.

At this point, the PSDB teamed up with more radical groups to take down the PT outside of the rules of the game. However, these same groups are rebelling against the Toucans and other right-wing forces, which led to the election of Jair Bolsonaro.

Lava Jato intensifies anti-politics

Another chapter of this process was Operation Lava Jato, widely supported by the corporate media, which, even in the face of evidence of abuse, treated figures such as Sergio Moro and Deltan Dalagnol with full respect.

“There was a strengthening of all non-representative institutions. During the Love Jato, the discourse was anti-political, anti-system, all democratic and representative parties and institutions were attacked, thus leading to the elections in 2016, in which the left lost a significant part of its voters in city halls and municipal councils. Precisely because outsiders have succeeded with this anti-systemic discourse in electing countless councillors, mayors, etc.”

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According to Telles, the media themselves realized that the outcome of this process was not positive, as “journalists are being attacked for their own freedom of expression” by the president during interviews.

“I see them [as mídias] frightened by this situation, but without self-criticism. So, just as the PT has to self-critique because of many mistakes and even condoning some mistakes, the media has much more to do because they gave the knife and fork so Operation Love Jato could empower the police and therefore empower non-representative institutions. ‘, he analyzes.

Left the wrong reading

Leftists, the main targets of Lava Jato, who opened the space for a coup against Dilma Rousseff (PT), also have a share of responsibility in this process, Telles says. For her, this group did not know how to respond to the attacks on the democratic system. This applies both to the lawlessness committed by Lava Jato and the protected media, which should have been suppressed, as well as to direct attacks promoted by far-right militants, which have intensified in the impeachment demonstrations.

“I remember, because I study this topic, that the first demonstration in 2015, in March, President Dilma went on television to tell us that we have democratic demonstrations here, when several scenes of posters, postcards with signs were already shown. [com pedidos] military intervention,” he recalls.

“That’s where the power of the president is, which should have been stopped by the ministers of justice, not demonstrations, because not everyone who walked showed these intervention posters, and those who did should be punished immediately. I think that the government did not know how to read, did not know how to interpret the political situation and did not act with due constitutional and legal rigor in relation to what was being distributed in the country.”

This framework created the conditions for the election of Bolsonaro, who already in 2018 gave a lot of space in his campaign to value the army and militarism. “As a result, today we have more soldiers in the first and second level positions than we had during the military dictatorship,” he emphasizes.

Editing: Talita Pires

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Inauguration of Alexandre de Moraes puts TSE at the center of the political game

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Alexandre de Moraes
possession

The property of ministers or the presidents of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) or the Higher Electoral Court (TSE) is a common and traditionally bureaucratic act. But the inauguration of minister Alexandre de Moraes as president of the TSE was something very different. The most popular inauguration in the history of the courts was a political event that rivaled two others that really should be the biggest news of the day: the start of the electoral campaigns and the first actions of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and current representative Jair Bolsonaro as candidates.

Alexandre de Moraes, in his speech, sent clear signals to the guest of honor at the inauguration, President Jair Bolsonaro. Defending democracy, the democratic rule of law, the regularity of electoral fairness, the transparency of the electoral process, the integrity and success of electronic voting machines, the limitation of hate speech or speeches against democratic institutions, Moraes has come under all the usual criticism. addressed to the government and the President of the Republic.

By saying, for example, that freedom of speech has limits and that the constitutional order does not tolerate hate speech or threats of rupture to “establish arbitration”, Moraes contradicted Bolsonaro, who used the freedom argument several times to spread the word, ideas incompatible with the Constitution. And whoever wrote this recently was not a member of the opposition or a regular government critic, but Deputy Attorney General for Elections Paulo Gonet Branco when he was filing against Bolsonaro for telling ambassadors about electronic voting machines.

Moraes once again promised a ruthless fight against false speeches and false news. And it is already known that this action will be especially tough against speeches attacking the legitimacy of the electoral process and against electronic voting machines. Moraes said that “the intervention of the TSE will be minimal, swift and merciless”. The minimum intervention is not as much up to the court, as the amount and severity of fake news will determine how much TSE has to act. But the speed and ruthlessness of punishment depend on the court.

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In recent years, speeches by TSE presidents about fighting fake news have been little more than promises, even because of the complexity of the topic. Alexander de Moraes said today, and in connection with his role as rapporteur on the investigation of fake news, that he will do everything in his power to fulfill the promise. And the precedent of State Deputy Fernando Francischini, whose mandate was withdrawn with the special commitment of Minister Alexandre de Moraes, is a sign that this time the court will really try to punish those responsible for spreading false news against the electoral system, for example.

The ceremony demonstrated the central role of the TSE in these elections. Partly because of the unfavorable policy at the moment. And this importance was confirmed by the presence of Bolsonaro, José Sarney, Lula, Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer, as well as all the ministers of the Supreme Court, 22 governors and several members of the federal government. The presence of the two main candidates for the presidency of the Republic, in addition to Ciro Gomes and Simone Tebet, is a clear indication of the central role of the court.

A position that the TSE has never really taken. The Court has always acted as an arbitrator that seeks to balance the dispute, which works administratively and logistically by distributing ballot boxes and organizing elections within its bureaucracy. But it has never been put as a guarantor of the process, the security of the change of power. And, in part, President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters, including the military, were elevated to this post by TSE for criticizing the electoral system, for attacking the court, for flirting with threats to break parliament. democratic rule of law, for requests to impeach Moraes, or to initiate criminal proceedings against a minister.

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If there was any false version of the political agreement made by Ciro Nogueira, Fabio Faria and Paulo Guedes with the TSE, Alexandre de Moraes’ speech showed the opposite. The absence of any mention of the military in the speech is also indicative. For those in government who have spoken of making concessions to the military, Moraes’ silence on the matter demonstrates what his advisers insistently remind him of: the military is not part of the electoral process. As Moraes’ predecessor Edson Fachin categorically stated.

Alexandre de Moraes takes over the management of the TSE, demonstrating political prestige to the court and expressing a vote of confidence in the political system. And it shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult to challenge poll results, no matter who wins in disputes across the country. But here’s a detail: when Alexandre de Moraes said that Brazil was proud of holding elections and counting votes on the same day, the guests gave him a standing ovation. Except Jair Bolsonaro, Ciro Nogueira and other members of the government.

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