IKN

Thy sin’s not accidental

Brazil elections: What you’re seeing unfold today, IKN Weekly subscribers read in August

OK, admittedly August 31st, but IKN277 ran an analysis of the Brazil presidentials on that date, right at the moment when Marina Silva was getting all the fuss and attention for her poll surge which put her in the lead in any second round run-off with Dilma Rousseff. Here’s the main chunk of the script from that piece:
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If, as is now extremely likely, no candidate gets 50% +1
vote in round one, we go to a second round run-off between the top two on
October 26th. The headline from Datafolha on that eventuality is
that if it were Rousseff versus Silva tomorrow, voter intention is 50% Silva,
40% Rousseff. In other words, Marina Silva has some serious momentum all of a
sudden, it’s coming at the right time and the current administration is now worried.
For the record, I fully expect that:
1)     Dilma and Marina go to a run-off
2)     Dilma wins the October 26th decider
It’s one thing to have a lead in a projected vote, quite
another have the massive, efficient and media-savvy PT party bearing down on a
single candidate from a party that doesn’t have the national reach or resources
of the PT. In Silva the PSB has its real chance, but she’s also well-known to
the PT (she was a minister in Lula da Silva’s government before splitting away)
and they’ll know exactly how to attack her credibility. Indeed that’s already
started (6) with Rousseff going after Silva this weekend on her plans to scrap
certain government subsidies, calling her plans “adventurist, shady and
backward” as well as hinting of corrupt goings on in the background (never a difficult image to call upon in
Brazilian politics
). The Brazilian economy currently slipping into
‘technical recession’ (one monthly
reading under 0% just out)
adds an extra element to the fight as Silva
will be able to blame PT, while the experienced and economy-savvy government
will be able to strike fear into the populace by showing Silva’s party as
woefully lacking in ability to run a country at such a critical time. The final
factor is the Brazilian tendency for a tactical protest vote when stakes aren’t
high, but when it comes to the crunch the country gets serious: It’s not that
surprising to see Silva running neck and neck with Rousseff at this point, nor
is it so strange to see her getting the best of any round two intention vote at
the moment. Most of Brazil already understands that they’re going to see Silva
vs Rousseff on October 26th and that’s when things are serious,
until then it’s not such a bad idea to send a stark warning to Dilma and the PT
party. Come the moment when people have to put crosses next to names, things
change.

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