Author: Deborah

What Does Lula’s Victory Mean for Brazil’s Democracy?

What Does Lula’s Victory Mean for Brazil’s Democracy?

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts

Brazil’s new President-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, stands out for his unusual mix of social views on race, gender and abortion, and for his apparent indifference to the most contentious issue of them all: corruption.

Lula is to be sworn in as president of Brazil on March 24th. His election by a large but fragmented party that is still reeling from the shock of his victory has had consequences for Brazil’s democratic transition, and will have ramifications abroad. Despite Lula’s promise of bringing change, many of the key issues that plagued Brazil for seven years of the Lulaist regime will be resolved at the ballot box.

The main stumbling block to change, though, has been its leadership’s lack of consistency. Brazil is far from perfect. Its politicians have been corrupt, and it has one of the highest levels of violence in the world.

Lula’s election may well be the closest in recent memory. So who has really been driving Brazil’s change, and what does Lula’s victory mean for the rest of us?

The Ruling Class

Brazil’s ruling class has always had great power, and a tendency to exercise it, and they have generally been more likely to reward their friends than to punish them. As a result, Brazil has remained poor for decades. The last eight years of the Lulaist regime only exacerbated problems within the ruling class in key sectors such as education, health, and welfare.

Since 2006, Brazilian society as a whole is far from unified. The middle and lower classes have largely supported the Lulaists, while the rich and poor have generally rejected them. These class divisions have, until now, made it easy for the poor to have a voice for political change.

This has not been a major issue for the president –

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