Brazil, Chamber of Representatives Elections: The PSOL Must Launch its own Candidature

By Alternativa Socialista

Elections for the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are scheduled for early February. Since the end of last year, part of the vanguard has been debating what position the left should take. In the Chamber, there is a dispute so far between Baleia Rossi (MDB), supported by Rodrigo Maia, and Arthur Lira (PP), supported by Bolsonaro.

The election for the presidency is not a mere ceremony. It is about the position in the line of succession of the government in case of impediment or vacancy of the Presidency and Vice Presidency. It is also a decisive position in the postponement or continuation of programs in Congress.

As expected, the election serves as an extension of the past municipal elections and a rehearsal for the 2022 presidential election. In the midst of bourgeois negotiations, the left is confused between being another accessory of the “lesser evil,” or fighting for a independent stand against our class enemies.

The campism of the “lesser evil” resurfaces with the discourse of Democracy (Maia-Rossi) versus Dictatorship (Bolsonaro-Lira). By this logic, any other alternative means favoring the opposite camp. There is no doubt for us socialists that the far-right Bolsonaro government is enemy number one to fight to the end: its complete downfall. It is a government of misery, unemployment, attacks on our class and persecution of minorities. In this sense, the candidacy of Arthur Lira (PP) represents a part of it.

We say one part, because Rodrigo Maia (DEM), the other part, is one of the main people responsible today for supporting Bolsonaro. He is a fundamental part of the “bourgeois agreement” that this government maintains, even with all the frictions. Maia was the great winner of the passage of the Retirement Reform, one of the biggest attacks on the working class in decades. He is the same one who has shut down dozens of impeachment petitions against Bolsonaro with the excuse that there was no crime. He represents the Administrative Reform against public service, which surely Rossi or Lira will continue to play.

What democracy to defend?

The progressives and the left of the regime – PDT, PSB, REDE on the one hand, PT and PCdoB on the other – brush all the attacks undertaken by Maia under the rug to sell the illusion of defending democracy, with a cynical, generic and abstract content, even from the same agenda defended by Maia-Rossi. Once again, at a time when people are most suffering from unemployment, hopelessness and Covid-19 deaths (200,000), the left of the regime, which discredits everything that comes from outside the institutions, serves as guarantor for Maia-Rossi who, at the first opportunity, will throw away all “demands” for support.

Parliament is one of the main institutions of the bourgeois democratic state, concentrating a large part of power. For this reason, deputies and senators enjoy extensive privileges that separate them from the living conditions of the entire population which they must represent, at least according to the indicated formality. The reality is that parliament is an institution that distances democracy from the people. In this sense, the task of the deputies of the working class is to use it as a platform for constant denunciation.

So what democracy to defend? We demand a direct democracy, where everyone can decide, a democracy of and for the 99%. Where the elected deputies are true representatives of the people without privileges, with salaries equal to those of any worker and if they do not do their job as representatives, or are corrupt, their mandate is revoked. We socialists have nothing to defend of the bourgeois parliament. We must work to build a true participatory democracy that represents the majority.

It is the duty of the PSOL to launch its own candidacy

There is a debate in PSOL about what its position should be. We recall that the party’s position in 2019, in the elections that elected Maia with the support of Bolsonaro, was that “To support Maia is to support Bolsonaro.” At that time, PSOL launched the candidacy of Marcelo Freixo. What has changed in Maia since then? Did he become an opposition to Bolsonaro? Can we trust Rossi? Is Bolsonaro stronger or weaker today?

Unfortunately, fellow deputies Fernanda Melchionna, Sâmia Bonfim (MES / PSOL) and Freixo, among others, fall into the campist trap of the “democratic bloc” and may sacrifice the PSOL´s head. It is essential that the party act in parliament as a space for agitation for the resumption of the mobilization for “Out With Bolsonaro and Mourão” and in defense of minimum democratic rights. Leaving this manure in power until 2022, to try to defeat it in the next election, is to risk its recomposition and another 4 years of Bolsonaro in government.

The PSOL has the duty to launch its own candidacy with an independent program against the crisis with the axes: Out with Bolsonaro and Mourão; Vaccination for all, now; Defense of employment, salaries and income; No payment of the external “debt”; Tax the super rich; 100% public National Health Plan in the fight against Covid-19; Cancellation of reforms against the people; Recovery of the national biome; Stabilization of strategic sectors under the democratic control of the working class.

Our fight against this miserable government finds a voice in the streets. That is why it is necessary to resume the mobilization with broad unity for Out with Bolsonaro and Mourão. At the same time, take a concrete step, without sectarianism or self-proclamation, towards the construction of a Socialist Left Front that will dispute with our class for a radical solution to the crisis.