At the age of 36, the Brazilian Socialist Party entered the presidential race with a candidate for vice president, a self-criticism and a proposal for a debate on rescuing the country from three decades of stagnation, a period in which the PSB was consolidated.
The candidate is former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, vice president of Lula, from the PT, leader in the polls. An exponent of the center-right, Alckmin is the newest member of the party chorus that still celebrates singing the sesquicentennial anthem of the Socialist International (“Crime of the rich, the law covers it/ The state crushes the oppressed/ There are no rights for the poor/
To the rich, everything is permitted…”).
The self-criticism is in a document approved yesterday in Brasília: “The left, of which the PSB is a part, has not implemented the structural reforms necessary for the transformation of society, such as political, tax, agrarian, urban and labor reforms, and has not modernized the political practice. On the contrary, part of it adhered to traditional ways of making alliances through corporatism, patrimonialism, physiology and corruption.”
This is the PSB’s premise for a “self-reform”, a set of documents with proposals for changes in the government, the Legislative and the Judiciary. These are ideas gathered during two years of internal debates, presented for discussion in the presidential campaign.
They reflect the sense of urgency about the absence “of a project for the country”, party president Carlos Siqueira said yesterday, at the end of the three-day meeting with state delegates.
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“You can say what you want about the military, but when they were in power, they had a project for the country,” he commented. “It was different from ours, but they had it. Those in power don’t have any plans. This extreme right, which has come to power in our country, is the worst. She comes from behind, who was the same one who stood against the president [Ernesto] Geisel when he initiated the political opening. who was general [Augusto] Helen [chefe do Gabinete de Segurança Institucional de Jair Bolsonaro]? He was an adviser to the minister [do Exército] Silvio Frota, who wanted to overthrow Geisel [em 1977] because he wanted to open the door to democracy. These are in the hands of the international financial system, which loves a weak government without ideas, because the ideas that prevail will always be their ideas.”
In the country now idealized by the PSB, the dichotomous vision, held for decades by the party, about State and Market is ended. “They are not opposing entities, but complementary”, but a “reasonable capital control is necessary to manage a competitive exchange rate”, and induction of the “very strong banking sector to finance development”. In sectors considered strategic, such as energy, water and sanitation, the State should reign supreme, he believes, suggesting full opposition to privatization in these areas.
For the PSB, the basis for the changes would be a broad political reform — “the most urgent”. It means adoption of parliamentarism; implementation of mixed district voting; five-year terms in the Executive Branch, without reelection; barrier clause (5%) for parties’ electoral performance; and, introduction of the system of recall referendums (recall), in which voters gain the power to return to the polls “to revoke the mandate of the elected infidel”.
The party proposes to change the budgetary legislative process, which would begin with a “requalification of the Budget Committees, with permanent operation, but only as systematizers of the budget process”. It would be an attempt to prevent a parliamentary system contaminated by a parallel budget, as currently occurs in Bolsonar presidentialism.
It suggests a broad restructuring for the Judiciary: “It is imperative to adopt the eight-year limit for the exercise of the functions of ministers and judges of higher and state courts, with the adoption of new forms, technical, meritorious and transparency criteria
to take up these vacancies.”
Whether you like the PSB’s ideas or not, they stimulate debate in the campaign. The texts are long, comprehensive and punctuated by the word “creativity” — repeated 215 times in one of them.
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