Binyamin Netanyahu has achieved a feat in Israel. The prime minister’s wear and tear caused parties from the left to the ultra-right to close a deal to remove him from power. In the same alliance are Israelis who defend the annexation of the West Bank and Arab leaders who are campaigning for an independent Palestinian state.
Politics is a territory that encourages the formation of majorities by rejection. Israeli parliamentarism shows that, in certain cases, party elites accept to share power and set aside central differences in order to get rid of a common adversary. In Brazilian presidentialism, the path is longer and rockier.
Groups working to defeat Jair Bolsonaro in the next election are looking to forge deals at party summits, but they also need to send signals to the public. As the presidential race is decided by the vote, a candidate depends more on movements for expansion of the electorate than on alliances between the heads of the party.
The block claiming the center label knows this well. These candidates are working to form an alliance that can unite a handful of parties, but they still don’t have enough votes to face the main competitors in the race.
Ciro Gomes wants to emerge in this field through a coalition between the PDT and right-wing parties, united to beat Bolsonaro. The alliance against the president may appear, but it will be little. To get off the ground, the ex-minister will need a program capable of attracting voters from the non-pocketnarist right and conquering ground on the non-PT left.
Even the meeting between Lula (PT) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) has more symbolic than direct value. The photograph sends the toucan voter the message that the PT may be a reasonable option to beat Bolsonaro, but the choice still comes up against a persistent anti-petism in that segment. Candidates will still have work to consolidate this majority by rejection.
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