[Brazil] Dilma Roussef wins, but only the struggle can ensure the changes and prevent setbacks


Written by PSTU – National Leadership
Monday, 03 November 2014 22:20

Dilma Rousseff (Workers Party – PT) has won the elections by 51.64 to 48.36 percent for Aécio Neves (PSDB). The turnout was 74.27 percent, with 25.73 percent of absenteeism, null or blank votes. The election campaign, which ended on the 26th October, was the most polarized in the country since 1989.
What has made this election so different was the overwhelming desire for changes that, since June 2013, pulses ever stronger among workers, youth and popular sectors.
The elections’ aftermath was a distorted demonstration of this desire, because many voted for Aécio (and in the first round for Marina Silva) believing in the lies he told, or simply because they wanted to punish the PT. Many others voted for PT in order to prevent a greater evil, the “back of the rightist rulers”, or by fearing that the whole scenario could get worse.
Ruling with whom?
After the ballots counting, both Aécio and Dilma shared the words “reconciliation” and “overcome a division in the country” in their speeches. The PSDB [1] and the media were demanding for “unity” by calling the PT to govern in agreement with them.
In her speech soon after re-election, Dilma cheered the coalition’s parties that supported her (let us recall that her alliances extends from the PMDB of Renan Calheiros, tothe PP of Paulo Maluf and the PTB of Fernando Collor de Melo). [2] Soon afterwards, she spoke about building bridges and held out her hands once again to the bankers and to business people talking on dialoguing with everyone, as if this were not the repetition of the 12-year government of PT. Where is the change then?
The working class and the youth want the reduction of the week working hours without reduction of wages; a real and substantial increase in wages; a public and of high quality education; public health and transportation; the end of the Social Security Factor (a factor that delays pension age or, alternatively, shortens the pension); the end of real estate speculation; the reduction in the skyrocketing cost of residential rents; a public housing program; land reform; end oflayoffs and establishing employment stability; demilitarization of the  Military Polices and the end to the repression and criminalization of social movements.
For these achievements, nonetheless, it’s necessary to face bankers and big businessmen; stop paying public debt to banks; expropriate the agribusiness and the large estate owners, prevent profit remittances of multinationals to their headquarters abroad, re-nationalize the state companies that have been privatized and nationalize the financial system.
Country divided, but between employers and workers
The real split in Brazil is not between the Northeast and Southeast, or between São Paulo and the Northeast, but between those who work, in other words, most of the people on one side, and the bankers, contractors and big businessmen, on the other, i.e. the real rulers in Brazil. Aécio and Dilma hide this true division. Aécio represents the bankers, contractors and big businessmen and would govern for them if he had won. But Dilma and PT also govern in accordance with them and apply an economic policy that has as its first and main commitment to maintain and expand their profits.
That is why the changes for the ordinary people have been small during the last 12 years of PT government, while a handful of capitalists are benefited and enrich every day by exploitating us. A portion of the working class in São Paulo, those who founded PT, are disillusioned and breaking away from PT. In these elections, the Workers Party, besides winning by a narrow margin, lost in key regions such as the working-class ABC region, its birthplace and former stronghold of the party. In Sao Bernardo, the PSDB candidate won by 55 percent and in Santo André the defeat was even bigger; 63 percent.
Many voters still backed the PT, even if not politically supporting it, in order to prevent a PSDB’s victory, but a large and significant part of the working class either voted for Aécio or voted null. Or simply did not vote. It is enough to observe that the voting for Dilma has decreased a lot if compared to the last elections. In 2010, the then almost unknown Lula’s successor overcame Jose Serra (PSDB) by56 percent to 43.9 percent, a margin of more than 12 million votes, nearly four times the last election’s margin.
The workers who ended up by voting for Aécio instead of Dilma do not support the PSDB neoliberal program; they just want a change and are sick of the PT.
A crisis is coming up and capitalists, besides not allowing changes to benefit the people, will increase exploitation over us, the workers. They will try to smash workers’ rights to increase banks’ income, while decreasing the worth of our labor-power, turning jobs more precarious and flexible and enabling companies to further reduce our wages aiming at increasing productivity at our expenses.
The current PT government (and next one, which inaugurates in January), backed by the PSDB and Aécio, is going to attack our living standards on behalf of the “homeland” to ensure the indecent profits of bankers, contractors and multinationals. Fares will increase very soon, numerous layoffs have been happening in the production sector and no one has heard of any announcement of changes to favor the working class and the youth.
The PSTU campaigned for the null vote in the 2nd round because this political gesture could bring awareness and strengthen the workers’ struggle, no matter which candidate would win the elections.
After Dilma’s victory, the PSTU reassures its opposition to the government and call once again the organization of the struggle. We need to prepare the struggles against the national and state Governments (and against the bosses) to achieve the changes we want as well as to prevent any setback or any attack on our living standards. In São Paulo the PSTU has already begun to organize the struggle against the lack of water.
A major task of the poor and the working class, including those 51.64 percent who voted for Dilma, is to defeat the 1 percent of riches with whom the PT is allied. They need to build a suitable political alternative, independent from the bourgeoisie. A party which can truly unite all the workers, the youth, the poor and oppressed people of the country against the 1 percent, the bankers, the businessmen and their political representatives.
And there is no other way to do it but facing the state governments, including the PT ones, and the national PT government, because they will not carry outthe changes we need. Those sectors that go on believing that this re-elected government is in dispute and can “move toward the left”, after it ruled for 12 years showing the opposite, disarms the working class and play the rightists’ and employers’ game. The working class need to resume the forefront of the struggles and the path of class independence, and this is only possible if facing the truth and not sowing illusions.
[1] – PSDB (Partido da Socialdemocracia Brasileira) – Party of the Brazilian Socialdemocracy is the main bourgeois neoliberal party in Brazil, it governed the country from 1995 to 2002.
[2] – All of these are rightist bourgeois parties which shelter a high number of corrupt politicians, as those mentioned.

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