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In 2010, there was the election that re-elected the current party, the workers’ party (PT) with a new candidate, Dilma Rousseff. She served with a promise to help the poor, to help increase the middle class, to criminalize corruption and effectively arrest people involved in corruption, and the main promise she made was to decrease the debt that Brazil owned other country. She was elected for a second term, but only served 2 years out of 4, because she was impeached in 2016, shortly after the Olympics.
She is accused of illegally manipulating the budget to hide the corruption, she denied all the accusations and even used the term “coup d’etat” to explain what truly happened, with all the scandals happening the Real (Brazilian currency) had a loss of value, which made people not too content with the government because that meant the economy wasn’t doing so well as Dilma wanted to make. After she left office, her vice-president took over the country,
Michel Temer, dividing the country politically (Harold Trinkunas).
After Michel Temer took office, he was not popular within the society, so he didn’t have a lot of political power, making him useless. Brazilians felt betrayed by the government, hence the impeachment, and that allowed the society to change its political positioning, arising the want of change in the country, since people felt the government was working for them, and since the same political party has been in charge for the past decade, voters were more angry and demanding change on the way the politicians were taking Brazil.
A candidate that says that he will get rid of the corruption and “liberate” people from Socialism, making a great impact in the white religious upper class community, giving him a lot of media attention. With the speech of “Brazil first”, Jair Bolsonaro, is the first far-right candidate to win the election since the Vargas era, he was a politician for 30 years before running for president, so people expected him the be the best candidate since his biggest opponent was from the Workers’ Party. As he went off to win with 55% of the votes, the people who did not vote for his opponent during the first round were what gave him a boost in vote, starting a new era in Brazil, an era where the leader is a conservative that has before had very offensive views toward women, LGBTQ, black and native Brazilians, and having the support of the conservative sections, helping him to have to push a conservative agenda onto the population. (Jen Kirby)(Reuters R.)
After the election, was already clear to see how his administration was going to work since he made it very clear in social media posts. The usage of the online world made it easier for the misinformation about what the other candidates proposed as their campaign speeches and how Brazil would turn out, rising the potential of the public getting the wrong information, leading people to not trust the system and creating a bigger divide in between disagreements. In the elections of 2018, it was seen in the WhatsApp, how this type of fake news influenced voters that use said platform, portraying the opposition of Bolsonaro, as a radical supporters of Communism and corruption. (Misinformation is a threat to Democracy in the Developing World). The transition from being in agreement with the government to be completely against any politician, changing Brazil’s mindset from a country that would choose rather liberal and moderate candidates to an alt-right conservative, because people felt like they new how socialism can change a country to worse, Venezuela being an example. More than 200 politicians and higher ranked people, including the former president Lula, were convicted of corruption by the Supreme Court, having a terrible impact on people’s opinion and trust on the government, because now the population just feels betrayed by the people in power they put in power. Bolsonaro selling the speech of ending corruption once in for all, had a great reception from the public, hence the support from more people not only extreme conservatives like the president himself, and he said that his administration will have authority, but not be authoritarian. (Jose R. Cardenas).
Being many times compared to Donald Trump, Bolsonaro worry experts that have been studying developing countries in Latin America, since there’s a wave of anti-establishment gaining strength all over the world, with the help of social media, it makes it more possible to have people engaged in your political opinion and beliefs. Democracy in Brazil might be held by a thread, since we have now a president that was in the military and is still very fond of the military regime that started in 1964 and ended in 1985. It’s important to understand the many reasons why Bolsonaro could have been the best option, Brazil became chaotic after what was thought to be the worst recession in Brazil’s economy, and the fact that crime was worse than ever created a big dissatisfaction effect from the population. Bolsonaro was smart and formulated a certain speech that would have enforce his beliefs, as radicals as it could be, into the population. He still managed to get people’s support saying things that the public wants a leader to say. (Democracy and Authoritarianism in Brazil).
In conclusion, politics in Brazil has shifted from a libertarian democratic system to an authoritarian system in the past decade, and it’s a shift that was emotionally driven, to end the state of calamity that Brazil has been going through since 2010, which were when things started to go downhill. Democracy might be at risk under the Bolsonaro administration, but it’s hard to tell since is too early on his term, but there was a drastic change in opinion about who should lead the country, creating a bigger gap between both sides of the political ideology spectrum.
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