What may be the most consequential election of the decade

Readers of my blog know that I have been following U.S. and Latin American politics for a long time. Recently, I have been posting on Brazil’s presidential election.

The incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, was chief of staff to Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva ,the prior president. In her younger, Marxist, days, she was involved with the Colina terrorist group which carried out bank robberies, car thefts and a couple of bombings, and she was jailed and tortured. She later joined Lula’s Worker’s Party (PT), and was elected Brazil’s first woman president in 2010. Her administration is under investigation for alleged widespread corruption and cronyism at state-owned companies like oil giant Petrobras, including embezzlement.

Dilma’s agenda is that of populist, redistributionist policies driven by bigger government. She has behind her a huge political machinery, the support of millions dependent on welfare, and, not having obtained a clear majority on the October 5th election faces a runoff election next Sunday.

Her challenger, Aécio Neves, of the Social Democracy Party, is a

former two-term governor of prosperous Minas Gerais state, taking credit for rescuing it from near-bankruptcy by cutting expenses and boosting revenue under a program dubbed “management shock.”

Neves’s agenda is Brazil’s economy, currently in recession after four years of stagnation.

He has vowed to slash government ministries, simplify Brazil’s tax code and tackle inflation.

He’s pro-market, pro-free enterprise.

Dilma is currently ahead in the polls.

Brazil, South America’s largest country, is currently a friend of socialist leaders in our hemisphere, hosting the Foro de Sao Paulo. Normally I don’t quote from Wikipedia, but this is accurate,

Foro de São Paulo (FSP; English: São Paulo Forum) is a conference of leftist political parties and other organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean. It was launched by the Workers’ Party(Portuguese: Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) of Brazil in 1990 in the city of São Paulo.

The Forum of São Paulo was constituted in 1990 when the Brazilian Workers’ Party approached other parties and social movements of Latin America and the Caribbean with the objective of debating the new international scenario after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the consequences of the implementation of what were taken as neoliberalpolicies adopted at the time by contemporary right-leaning governments in the region, the stated main objective of the conference being to argue for alternatives to neoliberalism.[1]

Neves has his work cut out for him, but an effective pro-market, pro-free enterprise president in Brazil would change the orientation of the entire hemisphere, not just of the country.

Related:
In Brazil Election, a Stark Choice on Economic Direction

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.