We the social movements must mobilize, roll up our sleeves and go to the streets to defeat Alckminâ€™s candidature.
FROM 1990 to 2002, the dominant classes implemented a disastrous neo-liberal programme for the economy and the people. They handed in our best state and privately owned companies, to the financial and international capital. Dilapidated public services. Public debt increased disgracefully, and the government started to use 30% of the federal budget to pay interests. People, companies and the government started to pay the highest interest rates in the world. The result: the economy did not grow, and there was a greater wealth concentration. The people were left with poverty, more inequality and the highest unemployment in history. Feeling these problems in the flesh, the people voted against neoliberalism in 2002, and elected President Lula.
In the last four years, there was a coalition government, as Minister Tarso Genro says, and the forces of capital continued influencing to maintain neoliberal policies. On the other hand, the forces from the left managed to advance in foreign policies, in the defence of state companies and in some social areas, such as public education and the minimum wage.
We the social movements have criticized the economic policies. The MST has manifested and struggled against the morose process of the agrarian reform, the priority given to the agri-business (which, in fact, voted against the government) and the non-compliance with the national plan for the agrarian reform.
We understand that the political context of this period has been adverse for popular forces, due to the absence of mass protests and the stagnation of the great majority of trade unions and movements. Some became comfortable or had their ideological directions co-opted. Others were massacred by the neoliberal offensive which eliminated several sectors of the working class. There is a reflux of the mass movement, which has influenced decisively the current correlation of power.
The time came for the 2006 elections. We defended the need to use the campaign to debate a new popular project for the country. Unfortunately, opportunistic and marketing views prevailed and the repetition of spurious methods, with the abusive use of money, buying canvassers etc. It was all extracted from companies interested in government favours. The result was a campaign without enthusiasm, without militancy and the interest of the people.
When it all seemed to have been agreed upon, and the results, predicted, in the last week, as a consequence of several serious mistakes in Lulaâ€™s campaign, the right finds reasons to unite around Alckmin (in the same way as it happened with Collor, in 1989)
They went for the attack, spitefully using their media, and managed to take the election to the second turn. The same happened in several States, where right wing candidates managed to get to the second turn of the election.
But, as everything else in life, there are contradictions. The unity of the right around Alckmin will provoke a debate of ideas and projects. The campaign will clarify the class interests behind each candidate.
Alckmin represents the interests of the financial capital, transnational corporations, Bush administration, Brazilian bourgeoisie and agri-business farmers, which are anxious to take the reins of the government.
Everyday in the paper they defend the need to continue privatization – PetrobrÃ¡s, Post Office, roads, banks and state companies. They want labour, tax and welfare reforms to amplify their profits. They propose the payment of interests within the Constitution, through an ambitious zero deficit plan. They bring back FTAA as a need and doing that, subordinate even more our economy and the country to the interests of the empire.
And if the poor dare to fight, they will call the â€œbush dogsâ€ and will offer police and jail. Therefore, we the social movements and all militants must mobilize, roll up pour sleeves and go to the streets to defeat Alckminâ€™s candidature and their class interests. We cannot hesitate. We will transform the campaign into a debate for projects and ideas. If Alckmin wins it would be a very serious defeat for Brazilian people.
In the next term of government Lula in office, we will continue mobilized to defeat neoliberal policies and to debate in society a new project for the country.
JOÃƒO PEDRO STEDILE, 52, economist, it is a member of the national coordination of the MST (Movement of Landless Rural Workers) and Via Campesina