bro, imma test your patience with me. now idk shit about politics buuut i need to learn a little more than the basics of whats happening to brazil, you know? its hard since its a hole different country so im kinda limited, i understand portuguese but really need a politics for dummies to know whats happening and what will probably happen due to the hell thats going on in BR. help me and get a smile (pls??)
Man this is hard because I have no idea what you already know or not or where you’re from so I can’t really make comparisons?? but i’m gonna try to give you a general??? hold tight
so I guess first thing is understanding the system, right?
Brazil has a… multi-party presidential democracy. Ish. Hasn’t always been like that tho, in fact, brazilian history is filled with coups and not so democratic republics. It’s our thing. But right now we have a President, in charge of the executive power, then there’s the upper and lower houses of congress (Senate and Chamber, we call them, basically), and the Supreme Court, I guess just like in the US. There’s a president to the Senate, a President to the Chamber, and a few more important figures in each part of the government, like the ministers, or cabinet leaders, that hold, well, cabinets, like the one for Education or Health or Culture, etc, or the Government Leader in congress that isn’t really a formal title but also kinda is a job.
So, our parties. There are so many of them. SO MANY. Y’all wouldn’t believe how many. Ok, about 30-40 of them. But really, who the fuck knows all of them? I don’t, so we’re gonna stick to the most important ones. But for that, quick history lesson:
Remember when I said we haven’t always been, uhm, this? Yeah, up until the late 80′s Brazil was on a Dictatorship (not the first we had, but the worst we had, arguably) (and I have to control myself not to tell you the whole thing cause I just love brazilian history???? but imma stick to what’s important) THE POINT IS: during those years, only two “parties” were allowed to exist, the… pro-dictatorship party and the… consented opposition party (we like to call them the “yes” and the “yes, sir” parties cause of the obvious). Consented opposition party was called MDB (founded in 65′). When dictatorship ended, they turned into PDMB (in 1980). You’re gonna have to get used to the acronyms because we only use them here. Sometime later, in 88, some people left PMDB to found PSDB, and at the time the plan was to have it a bit more to the left than PMDB that was a pretty center-right wing party. More to the left of both of those, also in the 80′s, our Workers Party is founded, PT. Not a socialist/communist party, whatever some may think until today. You might be wondering what happened to the dictatorship supporters party, right? They’ve changed names a few times through the last decades, nowadays they’re DEM, a right wing party (ironically enough, their acronym comes from Democrats).
Nowadays you can say PSDB is a center-right wing party, PT is center-left, and PMDB is wherever it pleases (mostly center-right, though). “Isn’t there a REAL left wing then????” there is, but it’s not exactly the most powerful thing in existence, so most people atribute the “left” nearly entirely to PT, cause up until a couple of years ago, it was majorly powerful. We’ll get to that. Anyway, some left wing parties are PCdoB and Psol and a shit ton of other small ones.
Back to history. When dictatorship was ending people made an awful lot of deals to get one dude (Tancredo Neves) into the presidency (not popular vote yet, some sort of electoral college) but cause we’re in Brazil and shit just can’t be simple HE DIED before taking office then his vice president (who had just kinda changed parties to make the run) became the first post-dictatorship president. This dude is called Sarney and he’s alive until today and we like to call him The King of a state because his family basically owns it. And it’s a big state and in pretty bad condition (if you want we can come back later to why so many families are so powerful and so entirely into politics and basically owners of whole states and how Oligarchies have always been a thing BUT in another post). He’s a senator now. Yeah, cause that’s a thing, you don’t have to end your career after being president here. Oh, both of those were like, from PMDB.
Then we finally got to vote and we elected this one young unknown dude who was promising to end corruption (I mean, they all do, but, big time), his name was Collor, and he got impeached for corruption a couple of years later. Yes, you’re allowed to laugh. He was from PRN, we’re not gonna talk about this party here, no relevance. His vice president took over, Itamar Franco, and if you guessed it you probably got it right: he was from PMDB. The country was still in a big ass crisis coming all the way from the dictatorship years and Collor had just screwed up massively too so when Itamar KINDA got things under control his economy cabinet leader got big time praise…… and got elected president a couple of years later for PSDB. His name is Fernando Henrique Cardoso (we like to call him FHC) and he’s still alive too.
So we got a few years of PSDB there cause they approved reelection in congress at some point there - let’s be honest, it’s because they were scared of the increasing popularity of somebody else that had been running in the past elections too: Lula, the big leader of PT - and they were right to, cause Lula would get elected finally in 2003 and reelected after, staying until 2011, and would hand pick his successor and get her elected: Dilma Rousseff, who would also get reelected. As you might have heard, she got impeached last year, leaving office to her vice president, Michel Temer, from… PMDB.
For the past couple of decades, our political scenario pretty much got divided into PSDB and PT running against each other (and against a ton of minor parties that didn’t quite make it) in every election, with PT winning all of the ones mentioned above. But in any and all of the governments, deals had to be made to get - you guessed it - PMDB support. If there’s one thing you have to know about these last years of Brazil is that no one, no one can govern without PMDB. And the reason to that is on it’s historical basis: it’s basically the oldest and biggest party we got. So EVERYWHERE there’s someone from there, so they get plenty of space in government, they make most of congress, they make most of the senate, they make most of the local powers, etc. And like that, unelected, they got to the Presidency quite a few times. When I said before that they go wherever they want to, is because they’ll lean to whichever side can grant them power, and not even collectively - you can see some of them aligning to left wing politicians in some parts of the country while others get allied to right wing politicians in another part in the same election, since there are no rules against that. Today, since they hold the presidency and most of the other important roles, their main ally is PSDB, but a few years back they were the main supporters to PT, so, really, the rule should be “don’t trust them and expect anything and everything”.
I think… this kinda covers the basics. Very basics. Roughly. It would be important for you to understand the whole Impeachment mess of the past couple of years. I have a couple of posts on that here and here and here and here and you can always go to my politics tag to search for more comments on everything. Idk, bring me objective questions or just what more you want to know after this so I can help more??? i’m really kinda lost on what to tell you and there’s sooo much to brazilian history that is important, but I think this post is way too long already x) I like telling the stories though, so ask away