|Written by PSTU – Brasil Sat., Oct. 27, 2012 19:31|
|Monday, 05 November 2012 15:38|
The latest municipal elections, on the whole, have shown that the room for the Left has increased in the country. Though we live in an economic slowdown scenario, Dilma’s government to maintain its high popularity and the PT to enjoy meaningful growth, generally speaking the Left Opposition grew stronger.
Such increased room can be verified by the results such as the PSOL’s that elected 49 councilors across the country and its first mayor in a small country town in Rio de Janeiro state, Itaocara. Marcelo Freixo’s candidacy in Rio capital raised the significant support of 28% of voters. The PSTU elected two councilors in two capitals (Belém and Natal, see the article) and had outstanding results such as Vera Lucia’s candidacy in Aracaju (Sergipe’s capital), with 6.68% of votes, the highest voting in the party’s history for an executive position. In Belo Horizonte, Vanessa Portugal had almost 20,000 votes (1.55%), against a backdrop of huge pressure for the ‘useful vote’ on PT’s candidate against the Right.
PSOL had two more candidates who reached the election second round in two capitals: in Belém and Macapá. However, what could mean a significant victory for the socialist left and the advancement of a really popular project in both cities, with governments that would meet the needs of the majority population, is turning into its opposite. The range of alliances signed by PSOL in these cities for the second round points out to two political projects that, in case they are elected, will not be an alternative to traditional parties.
In Belém, the electoral propaganda with Lula stating support for Edmilson Rodrigues (PSOL) on October 21st, claiming their terms and saying that “the good relationship between the municipalities and the federal government is very important,” really struck many activists of the Left, including the own PSOL rank and file. In fact, the agreement with PT had been signed in the preceding week and disclosed in a public event without consultation with the other parties that formed the coalition. Lula’s statement on that Sunday crowned this policy.
In addition to PT, Edmilson’s party has signed alliances with PDT (a bourgeois center-left party) and even with a councilor of DEM (a bourgeois right party). Thus, PSTU was compelled to break up the coalition, which had previously assumed the commitment of workers class independence from the bourgeoisie and the National government. Even before the coalition, PSTU publicly criticized the financing provided by private companies for the PSOL candidate’s campaign, as well as the presence of PCdoB (Communist Party of Brazil, supporter of the National government) in the coalition. Now, the coalitions with PT, the government and rightist parties support distort completely a candidacy which expressed the desire for change in a large part of the population, especially among the poorest and humblest. PSTU is recommending the critical vote in Edmilson, but warns that if these alliances remain, nothing will ever change.
In Macapá (Amapá state’s capital) the situation is even more dramatic, since the PSOL coalition occurs with the most retrograde and oligarchic Right, with parties such as DEM, PSDB and PTB. Tailored by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (PSOL-AP) directly with the Sarney’s family (José Sarney is the rightist Senate’s president), the coalition headed by the candidate Clécio Luís has been causing a righteous indignation on the PSOL’s trends and among its militants. And to further worsen such a scenario, Randolfe Rodrigues stated the following at the public event which celebrated the alliances: “We’re not just pointing out a political alliance, we are pointing out a new political route in Amapá”. That is, to the Senator, this is not just an electoral coalition, but a new direction in the party politics.
The contradiction is even deeper if we remember that Randolfe earned notoriety precisely on the CPI (Parliamentary Investigation Commission) which investigated the connection of the “bicheiro”(1) Carlinhos Cachoeira with the impeached Senator, Demóstenes Torres, of the DEM. In a report on VEJA magazine, Randolfe advocated this policy of alliances. “We cannot have a vocation to be a PSTU,” he said to the magazine. Randolfe might think PSOL’s vocation is to be a new PT, as the party is working hard to make it happen.
Where is PSOL going to?
Several PSOL trends and militants vehemently repudiated the events in Belém and Macapá. The current party president, Rep. Ivan Valente, however, continues defending the ‘flexibility’ of alliances. “The second round is a different matter, how does it come that we will reject support?” he said to Veja magazine. “We need to bring funds and to invest in these cities. There is no room for intransigence”he also stated, displaying a surprising twist to the Right and already revealing how a possible PSOL government will be.
The truth, however, is that these two campaigns are an unfortunate milestone for PSOL, which remakes in a fast pace the PT’s paths. I took the Workers Party (PT) at least two decades to completely adjust to institutionalism and become a political party alike other bourgeois parties. PSOL, insisting on this “anything goes” electoral game will complete the cycle in a much shorter time than PT. It is worth remembering that only four years have passed since the controversy over the receipt of US$50,000 by Luciana Genro’s campaign from Gerdau in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul state’s capital) in 2008, up to the present widespread of this practice of financing by companies and coalition with the Right.
The controversy now no longer has as its center the priority PSOL gives or not to the elections, but the concessions they have been granting to be elected. Every honest militant knows that, once elected, these contributors and support allies and alliances will charge their prices in the future and these mandates will inevitably end up in disappointment. That is, not even as a reformist electoral project is this politics useful for. It is rather important to elect socialists representatives who, once elected, will act as the workers’ tribunes. What cannot be accepted is to abandon the principles and make the elections a final objective in themselves, as is doing PSOL in Belém and Macapá.
The two councilors PSTU elected in these elections, although it seems to be a rather modest result, they have been achieved through campaigns without the financing of companies, alliances with the Right or support by the National government, or by lowering a socialist program to cities. That is, PSTU showed that, unlike what it is said, it is certainly possible to elect candidates without selling or giving up the principles.
This is not about displaying lack of respect towards PSOL. The question is that this issue refers not only to a particular party, but to the entire Socialist Left. The PT’s experience has shown how a classist party adaptation and degeneration, rather than strengthening their ‘competitors’, brings more skepticism to the workers class, which begins to view the political parties as ‘all alike’ and falls down on the prostration. This is a victory for the right.
We appeal to the POL honest militants, that they urge their party leadership to change the course of these nominations, or else, that they break up with the party. It is important that PSOL reviews its policy and do not tread the same path as PT. This film is not worth seeing again.
(1) “bicheiro” (for non-Brazilians: in Brazil, mainly in Rio de Janeiro, there is an illegal and very popular lottery of numbers associated to animals called “jogo do bicho” (game of animals), and the outlaws are called “bicheiros”. The jogo do bicho is a game of chance somewhat similar to the numbers game found in New York City.