brazil

  • Source - Economist, Nov 03, 2018: "Brazil hearts Jair Bolsonaro"     

    Former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro wins the Presidency of Brazil. Will he be a reformer or a radical? Will he move Brazil towards the illiberal democracies?

    Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party wins Brazil's Presidential election with 55% of the vote (but also record low turnout). Bolsonaro won by promising to get tough on crime, reduce corruption and reverse the current economic slump. He is a Trump-style populist who combines social conservatism with a liberal desire to intervene in the economy.  The investor class would like to see Brazil's government cut pubic pension spending; simplify the tax system; privatize state-owned firms and reduce regulation. 

    Bolsonaro's actions so far are a mixed bag. He has refused to use targeted public spending (pork) to persuade members of Congress to support his policies. That will make it harder for him to succeed. He is predictably conservative (wants to reduce "gay influences" in schools) and nativist (concerned that China is "buying Brazil instead of buying from Brazil"). He is subject to military influence as one-half of his transition team have military backgrounds. And he is anti-media. He ays he will withdraw government contracts for advertising with media outlets that behave "irresponsibly". These actions concern his opponents who worry Bolsonaro will move Brazil towards a more authoritarian, illiberal system.