Sergio Fausto, O Estado de S. Paulo, 2/28/2014
Challenges abound for the next presidential term. There are several symptoms indicating that the “new development model,” the “new paradigm of the political economy,” or all the other pompous names one wishes to assign to the policies of the current government, have not produced the expected results. There is a widespread feeling both here and abroad that we are improvising and kicking the can down the road. For how long will this last?
Given this situation, the following question is raised: Will the candidates for the Presidency present political platforms that allow the voter to understand their vision with regards to these challenges and learn about the political choices each one intends to make to address them? Or will we once again watch, as per the norm in recent disputes, a campaign devoid of programmatic content, reduced to propaganda based on real or alleged personal positive attributes of the candidates and vague proposals of distributing more benefits (fancifully without costs and without sacrificing any other desirable goal)?
It is true that political platforms must be translated into more accessible language to ordinary voters, and that in order for a campaign to be successful, it must mobilize feelings around a simplified driving idea. Or such is the conventional political wisdom in Brazil. This notion, however, not only inhibits voters from being more informed, but also weakens the mandate of the government elected by the voters.