On the way to the “post-tucanato”
Definitions about São Paulo are part of one of the most important chapters in the electoral dispute.
(“Tucanato” refers to “tucano” (tucan), the animal-symbol of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, a party of the country’s traditional right wing)
The election in São Paulo is beginning to gain definitive contours. The recent Datafolha poll and the withdrawal of charismatic TV host José Luiz Datena from the Senate race are consolidating the electoral picture. Fernando Haddad’s lead indicates a comfortable second round. The scenario without Marcio França shows 34% for Haddad, and Tarcisio and Garcia with 13%, tied for second place.
Amidst the close general election dispute, São Paulo is one of the most important chapters. With three months to go until the election, the data is being rolled. Let’s look at some of the issues:
- The importance of São Paulo for Lula. Besides the general density of the largest electoral college in the country, we can list some elements: 1) For the first time, the PT can govern SP; 2) It is the laboratory of the political alliance with Alckmin and of the economic model; 3) neutralize the Tucanos [PSDB party], signaling to the markets;
- The effects of Datena’s departure: It was a setback for Bolsonarism, which loses the one who would be its main candidate. This changes the scenario for the Senate race, leaving the way clear for Marcio França, in his expected composition with Haddad. The pact between the PT and PSB should be signed in the coming days. Taking França out of the race paves the way for the PT’s strategy for São Paulo to run to the center, using the weight of Alckmin and França as heirs of a leading fraction of the so-called tucanistão period (1994-2022);
- The crisis of the tucanos is the crisis of the São Paulo PSDB. Doria’s forced withdrawal from the presidential election was the ultimate portrait of the organic crisis of the “tucanato”. Elected on the strength of the “Bolsodoria” [Bolsonaro and Joãoo Doria, Governor of Sao Paulo, alliance, in 2018], in four years the main name of the PSDB saw its prestige melt away. The death of Bruno Covas, leaving the mayoral seat in the hands of an unknown and controversial Ricardo Nunes, was another hard blow. Rodrigo Garcia’s task is a tough one. His ground is low (between 10 and 12%) and he will have to occupy a very congested space. He counts in his favor with the government machine, hundreds of mayors and councilmen at the service of his politics;
- Bolsonarism is gearing up for an unprecedented dispute. Its parliamentary position is residual, with some figures in parliament and the mayoralty of a medium-sized city like Bauru, in addition to the business sector that is more loyal to the extreme right, of which Skaf is its spokesman. Tarcisio is from Bolsonaro’s hard core – which cannot make tacit alliances as was the case during the “Bolsodoria” period. He has to have his own representatives, for the battles to come, always considering the possibility of not legitimizing the results of the polls;
- Are we at the gates of a “post-tucanato”? The PT and Haddad have realized this and are investing in a new project. No wonder Fernando Haddad is chosen: a technocrat, responsible for the generational renewal of the PT camp. Haddad recently published an essay on theory, epistemology and politics, where he leaves no doubt about his positions and worldview. He is part of the USPian [USP, Universidade de São Paulo] thought, although renewed, which was at the genesis of the PSDB project;
- Alckmin’s inclusion in Lula’s ticket was the greatest symbol of this unity. Alckmin and Haddad were together to repress 2013. They were defeated together by Bolsonaro, expressing the “New Republic” in crisis in 2018. Now they return for a new political experiment. The political ideologue of the “post tucanato” is Gabriel Chalita, one of those responsible for the seam between Alckmin and the PT;
- The road to the “post-tucanato” goes through Faria Lima. With Chalita, Walfrido Warde and other relations from the business field, the banker Gabriel Galipolo, the political foundations of this new project are laid;
- In the face of the situation, confirming França in the Senate, Haddad’s vice-president position is being coveted by different actors. Rumors in the press speak of Marina, PSOL and Lu Alckmin. It is evident that within this strategy of Haddad the PSOL does not fit, even though it is his moderate wing;
- The PSOL’s decision, however, has not yet been made. The conduct of the State Direction to define its tactics is deplorable. There was no consultation process with the bases, except for a short online meeting, in which the militancy was not allowed to speak. No date was set for a conference to vote on the names. Negotiations are conducted behind closed doors;
- Unlike the national picture, where the hypothesis of Lula winning in the first round answers to the concrete need to defeat the Bolsonaro project, the definition that the leadership of the PSOL in São Paulo wants to make in order to drag the Party to Haddad’s campaign is based on pragmatism;
- We, who raised the pre-campaign of Mariana Conti, give up for a candidacy that can have a majority within the PSOL. This means that the Semente field can define its position, so that we can have an independent candidacy in the first round, already committing to vote Haddad in the second. In the last poll, the space to the left expressed in the candidacies of the PSTU and PCB reaches 5%. Ideally, in São Paulo, these electoral expressions should come out unified, if possible under the banner of the PSOL, which has more weight and political and social presence;
- The tactic in São Paulo responds to political and social needs. It is necessary to signal a program that dialogues with the advanced sectors: what is the financing line for the state universities of São Paulo, in acute crisis? Will the recent pension reform for state public servants be reversed? What is the line for the São Paulo subway? How to debate with the Military Police low ranks? Only a program of rupture in the largest state in the country can occupy a necessary space to fight in the present and build a new future.