Rousseff maintains popularity despite stalled Brazil economy

Reuters, 12/14/2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains highly popular despite a stalled economy and political scandals that have tarnished the reputation of her ruling Workers’ Party, an opinion poll published on Friday showed.

Rousseff’s personal approval rating rose slightly to 78 percent from 77 percent three months ago, according to the CNI/Ibope poll. Approval of her left-of-centergovernment was unchanged at 62 percent, the poll showed.

The once-booming Brazilian economy almost ground to halt in her first year as president in 2011 and recovery has been disappointing this year, despite a barrage of tax breaks and other incentives adopted by Rousseff’s economic team.

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Brazil’s Rousseff boldly shuns base, embraces business

Brian Winter – Reuters, 8/22/2012

(Reuters) – When President Dilma Rousseff announced a $65 billion privatization of Brazilian highways and railroads last week, she could hear air horns and furious chanting coming from outside the presidential palace.

“Dilma, why have you abandoned us?” read a hand-made sign held up by one of the several hundred striking public-sector workers who had gathered to demand wage increases.

For anyone who follows Brazilian politics, the juxtaposition was surprising: a left-leaning president from the Workers’ Party, which has its roots in the 1980s trade union movement, auctioning off government property to private investors while jilted public servants protested outside.

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Brazilians: Our corrupt politicians are doing a great job!

Joshua Keating – Foreign Policy, 09/22/2010

According to a new poll by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 79 percent of Brazilians think that political corruption is a “major problem” in their country. On the other hand, all that corruption doesn’t seem to be keeping leaders from delivering the goods. 75 percent approve of the current government more generally and 76 percent say it’s doing a good job handling the economy.

Overall, there’s a lot of encouraging news in the poll. 87 percent of Brazilians support increased trade and 85 percent see climate change as a major problem. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will leave office this year with an impressive 80 percent approval rating. (It seems possible that Lula has cultivated a kind of “good czar” image where citizens see him as untouched by the corruption of more local officials.)

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Citizens feeling more optimistic

Marifeli Perez-Stable – Miami Herald, 08/26/2010

Latin Americans are in an upbeat mood. Most (78 percent) feel that they and their families are moving in the right direction, even if their countries (45 percent) and the world (41 percent) are not. Still, in 2003, fewer Latin Americans saw their country (30 percent) and the world (27 percent) as being on the right track, while rating their own standing a bit lower (72 percent).

Since 1995, Latinobarómetro — a respected public-opinion think tank in Santiago, Chile — has issued annual reports on democracy and other topics based on interviews with Latin Americans in 18 countries. Their views on globalization and international relations, however, have only twice been the subject of in-depth surveys: in 2003 and in September-October 2009, the latter results presented in June 2010 report.

In Brazil (91 percent), Venezuela (86 percent) and Costa Rica/Uruguay (tied at 84 percent), citizens see themselves and their families as strongly on the right track. At the other end, those in Ecuador (70 percent), the Dominican Republic (68 percent) and Nicaragua (62 percent) registered the lowest satisfaction with their lives, albeit with majorities in all three countries still satisfied.