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Brazil Will Test a Government in Direct Connection with Voters

Jair Bolsonaro and his vice president-elect are retired military officers, and the president-elect will appoint seven other officers to the ministerial cabinet. Since he was elected president of Brazil, the far-right politician has shown his predilection for participating in military ceremonies, such as the graduation of Navy officers in Rio de Janeiro seen in this photo. Credit: Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil-Fotos Públicas
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Jair Bolsonaro and his vice president-elect are retired army officers, and the president-elect will appoint seven different officers to the ministerial cupboard. Since he was elected president of Brazil, the far-right politician has proven his predilection for collaborating in army ceremonies, such because the commencement of Navy officers in Rio de Janeiro seen in this photograph. Credit score: Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil-Fotos Públicas

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 14 2018 (IPS) – The federal government that may take workplace on Jan. 1 in Brazil, presided over by Jair Bolsonaro, will put to the check the acute proper in energy, with beliefs that sound anachronistic and a administration based mostly on a direct connection with the general public.

“People’s power no longer needs intermediation, new technologies allow a new direct relationship between voters and their representatives,” Bolsonaro stated when he acquired the doc formally naming him president-elect by the Superior Electoral Tribunal on Dec. 10 in Brasilia.

It’s no secret what position was performed by the social networks, particularly WhatsApp, in Brazil’s October elections, which led to the election of a lawmaker with an obscure 27-year profession in Congress.

“Democracy is not in crisis because of WhatsApp, but because of the lack of a social pact, because trade unions and political parties are no longer representative…He (president-elect Jair Bolsonaro) knew how to use the social networks to present himself as the solution (and) they may or may not help him once he’s in the government.” — Giuseppe Cocco

However now he has to control. Based mostly on his speeches and up to date expertise, Bolsonaro, 63, will proceed to show to the social networks as president and profitable disciple of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“But they are two very different realities, the elections and governing. The president-elect has shown that he is still campaigning, but now it’s not about promises, it’s about presenting results,” stated Fernando Lattmann-Weltman, professor of political science on the Rio de Janeiro State College (UERJ).

“Without satisfactory results, the greatest risk is that the government will become unviable, if its relations with the other branches of power and with institutions and organised groups deteriorate,” and the robust expectations of change created in the elections are annoyed, he stated.

Bolsonaro additionally made the standard promise that he would govern for all, as “president of Brazil’s 210 million people.” However specialists agree that direct communication with voters is biased and tends to gasoline antagonism that lingers after the elections, as in the case of america of Donald Trump.

Social networks broaden the chances of dialogue between individuals, as interactive media accessible to rising elements of the inhabitants. However they don’t seem to be public just like the press, radio and open tv. They’re restricted to household, associates or circles of widespread curiosity.

As a political software, they typically give rise to teams of shared opinions and beliefs, or digital sects. They don’t promote debate, argumentation and confrontation of concepts, additionally as a result of in basic they’re used for brief messages, slogans and “fake news”.

On this sense, they worsen polarisation and antagonism. A authorities based mostly on these connections would have a tendency to intensify conflicts, crises and threats to democracy, analysts argue.

“Democracy is not in crisis because of WhatsApp, but because of the lack of a social pact, because trade unions and political parties are no longer representative,” stated Giuseppe Cocco, a professor on the Faculty of Communication on the Federal College of Rio de Janeiro.

Social networks do have a “club effect,” however right now they’re “an indisputable aspect of our lives” in their numerous dimensions, whether or not it’s materials manufacturing, communication, providers and even politics, he informed IPS.

In Cocco’s view, “its use in the election campaign does not explain Bolsonaro’s triumph,” which he stated was because of the want of nearly all of Brazilian voters for a change towards corruption, a political system that has misplaced credibility, the financial disaster and rising crime and insecurity.

“He knew how to use the social networks to present himself as the solution,” he stated, including that “they may or may not help him once he’s in the government,” relying on how he makes use of them.

Jair Bolsonaro receives the document officially naming him president-elect of Brazil, next to his wife, two of his five children - one of whom is a member of the lower house and the other a senator - and their wives. A staunch defender of the traditional family, his will have a strong presence in his government, which has already begun to spark conflicts and scandals involving some of his offspring. Credit: Roberto Jayme/Ascom/TSE-Fotos Públicas

Jair Bolsonaro (C-L) receives the doc formally naming him president-elect of Brazil, subsequent to his spouse, two of his 5 youngsters – one among whom is a member of the decrease home and the opposite a senator – and their wives. A staunch defender of the normal household, his could have a robust presence in his authorities, which has already begun to spark conflicts and scandals involving a few of his offspring. Credit score: Roberto Jayme/Ascom/TSE-Fotos Públicas

However there are a variety of researchers around the globe who say the social networks have had a damaging impact on democracy, as a consequence of their use in the vast dissemination of “fake news”.

Additionally they check with overseas interference in elections, such because the suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and to strain exerted by instantly related voters as in the event that they have been “the voice of the people.”

On the similar time, Whatsapp has develop into probably the most extensively utilised instrument in terms of organising main social mobilisations, such because the truck driver strike that paralysed Brazil in Might and the “yellow vest” rebellion in France, which started on Nov. 17 as protests towards gasoline worth hikes and ballooned into a a lot broader motion.

Prior to now that position was performed by the landline phone, now virtually utterly changed by the cellular phone. Social networks like Twitter and Fb turned decisive in elections like Trump’s in 2016 and mobilisations such because the “Arab Spring” in North Africa, stated Cocco, an Italian who has lived in Brazil since 1995.

However it isn’t solely a technical evolution; WhatsApp is a “closed network” that doesn’t permit the provenance of the messages to be recognized, or whoever is accountable when messages that might be legal are disseminated, in distinction with different media.

This warning comes from Alessandra Aldé, postgraduate professor of Communication at UERJ and coordinator of a analysis group on this software, who repeated it in interviews given to native media after the October elections.

Bolsonaro used WhatsApp massively in his election marketing campaign.

As well as, businessmen allegedly used their very own cash to unfold false accusations on WhatsApp towards the candidate of the leftist Staff’ Get together, Fernando Haddad, in violation of the nation’s election legal guidelines, reported the day by day Folha de São Paulo on Oct. 18, 10 days earlier than the presidential runoff election.

Many analysts level to similarities between Trump and Bolsonaro due to their electoral success pushed by social networks and their excessive right-wing insurance policies.

However the Brazilian chief was elected with “a more fragile support base,” with out the backing of a get together like Trump’s Republican Social gathering, or of skilled lawmakers, Lattman-Weltman informed IPS.

Bolsonaro comes from a army background. In 1988, the retired military captain turned a metropolis councillor in Rio de Janeiro. Two years later he was elected to the decrease home of Congress, and was ultimately re-elected six occasions. He by no means held an government department place and was not a chief of any political get together.

The celebration he joined in Might, the Liberal Social Celebration (PSL), solely gained a single seat in the decrease home of Congress in 2014. However in October it garnered 52 of the 513 seats, and gained a foothold in the Senate for the primary time, taking 4 seats – 5 % of the entire. A big a part of its success was because of the sudden reputation of Bolsonaro.

One other danger, with maybe extra critical and speedy penalties, is the beliefs of the 2 central energy teams in the subsequent authorities, one deeply spiritual and the opposite army. “God above all” was the slogan of Bolsonaro’s marketing campaign and of the federal government that begins its four-year time period on Jan. 1.

Seven armed forces officers will type a part of the 22-member ministerial cupboard. As well as there’s the president and his vice chairman, retired Common Hamilton Mourão, making up probably the most militarised authorities in the historical past of Brazil’s democracy.

Bolsonaro has rejected, for instance, the holding of the world local weather convention in Brazil in 2019, and threatens to pulls out of the 2015 Paris Settlement on local weather change, saying it jeopardises Brazil’s sovereignty over 136 million hectares of Amazon rainforest, due to a plan to show it into an ecological hall, the Triple A.

This kind of worry is widespread among the many Brazilian army, who additionally suspect that land reserved for indigenous individuals might turn into a part of the worldwide area or unbiased, which is why they resist the demarcation of indigenous reserves.

However truly the Andes-Amazon-Atlantic (Triple A) ecological hall was proposed by a Colombian environmental organisation, Gaia Amazonas, and was neither authorised by neither is a part of the local weather talks.


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