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Brazil - Political Parties - Center-Left

PDT - Democratic Workers Party (Partido Democratico Trabalhista). The PDT is a populist party led by Leonel Brizola. It is strongest in Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, where Brizola was governor. Much of its support comes from slum dwellers and the rural poor. Founded in 1980 by former members of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB).

PSB--Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro). Founded in 1946-1947 [?], it was outlawed during the military regime of 1964, when many of its members joined the MDB, and was recreated in 1985 as a left-wing party situated between social democracy and radical socialism. In 1989, a leftist party enjoying little popular support, it cooperated with the PT and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) to create the Popular Brazil Front (FBP), which put forward Lula da Silva's first candidacy. Brazil also boasts several dozen small parties, some of which (e.g., National Mobilization Party--PMN, Christian Democratic Party--PDC) are significant in specific regions or states. Resurrected in 1986 from the pre-1964 Socialist Party, the left-wing Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro--PSB) elected seven representatives to the ANC (National Constituent Assembly). It joined the Brazilian Popular Front (Frente Brasil Popular--FBP) coalition in 1989 in support of Lula, and again in 1994. With 2.3 percent of the national vote in 1990, the PSB elected eleven deputies, including twice governor of Pernambuco Miguel Arraes, PSB president. The PSB, which has a more pragmatic socialism than the Workers' Party, contributed two ministers to Franco's cabinet. In 1994 the PSB elected two governors (including Arraes), one senator, and fifteen federal deputies.

PSDB - Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira). Led by Senator Mario Covas, the PSDB was founded in by a center-left group of the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) in June 1988. It was founded by social democratic PMDB dissidents, who disagreed with that party's growing relations with the right-wing under President José Sarney.

PSDB adopted a modernising, social-democratic program. The party classifies its orientation as center-left, but several left-wing intellectuals and critics define PSDB actions as center-right. PSDB dispute the political hegemony in Brazil. In a recent past, you could see a significant difference between the two parties, but nowadays they adopt pretty much the same political and economic measures.

Many of these PMDB members were associated with the Progressive Unity Movement (Movimento de Unidade Progressista--MUP). They had become discontented with the rainbow party, with the PMDB's participation in the conservative Big Center during the National Constituent Assembly, and especially with the politics of President Sarney. The principal leaders of the new party were from São Paulo, including Senator Cardoso (PMDB floor leader in the Senate). The PSDB adopted a modernizing, social-democratic program and favored a parliamentary system of government. In 1988 it became the third largest delegation in Congress, although it elected only eighteen mayors that year (including Belo Horizonte).

The PSDB occupied three ministries in the Franco cabinet, including Senator Cardoso at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In May 1993, Cardoso moved to the Ministry of Finance, where he launched the Real Plan for economic stabilization in March 1994. With other major parties already engaged in different presidential alliances, the PSDB opted for a coalition with the more conservative PFL and PTB in the 1994 elections.

The adoption of the new Real currency and the resulting near-zero inflation greatly boosted Cardoso's presidential candidacy in July and August and guaranteed his first-round victory with a margin of 54.3 percent on October 3. The PSDB also elected six governors (including Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro), nine senators, and sixty-two deputies, a much better performance than in 1990. The Social Democrats occupied six ministries, including the powerful ministries of Planning, Finance, and Civil Household of the Presidency, in the Cardoso government.

Under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, PSDB President (1995-2002), Brazil adopted a new currency, the Real, and managed to reduce longstanding inflation. In 2010, the PSDB candidate, Aécio Neves, won 48.35% of votes.

It includes prominent politicians who quit the PMDB, PFL, and PDT over political differences with national or state leaders of those parties. The PSDB advocates adoption of a parliamentary system of government in Brazil.

PT -- Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores). Formed in 1978, the PT is Brazil's "European-style" leftist party, with a clearly defined ideology and program, strict party discipline, a hierarchical structure, and internal party democracy. The Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores--PT), the country's first independent labor party, is a unique party in Brazil. Organized externally (outside Congress) from the grassroots up and based on the new trade unionism in São Paulo, the Workers' Party initially did not want any professional politicians or students in its ranks. However, to have a voice in Congress it accepted five deputies and one senator into its ranks in early 1980. Since then the Workers' Party has grown steadily. It is strongest among intellectuals, organized labor, and the economically disadvantaged. It draws considerable support from the liberation-theology wing of the Catholic Church and from the labor confederation, the sole Workers Central (CUT). In 1988, it won mayoralities of important industrial cities, including that of Luiza Erundina in Sao Paulo and Olivio Dutra in Porto Alegre. In 1989, PT presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva lost to Collor in the second-round run-off election. Following the elections in 2002, the Worker's Party (PT) became the largest party in Congress. It formed a coalition with some 10 other parties, giving it loose control of an overall majority in both chambers. However, in the 2006 elections the PT fell short of a majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The PT is a broad left party with close links to the trade union movement.

Lula helped found the PT in 1980 and had been its presidential candidate in every Brazilian election since the restoration of democracy. Though he still sometimes resorted to populist rhetoric, he governed as a pragmatic centrist. A significant portion of his party, however, continues to consider itself in the vanguard of Brazil's radical leftist militancy. While the PT played an important role in the struggle against dictatorship and the transition to democracy, some in the its leadership have never entirely abandoned the authoritarian tendencies and mind-set of party ideologues.

Some in the PT, especially in the extreme leftist social movements that form one part of the party's base, considered Hugo Chavez a friend and a mentor. They had on a number of occasions expressed disappointment with what they considered Lula's betrayal of his class. These groups - the Unified Workers Center (CUT), the Landless Movement (MST), and the National Students' Movement (UNE) - supported by the PT, organized demonstrations against President Bush during his November 2005 and March 2007 visits to Brazil. These elements thought Chavez was a hero for opposing the United States. They also believed that the PT and the Lula administration had been the targets of elitist, oligarchic media companies, and probably envied Chavez's ability to silence an unfriendly voice while disdaining domestic and international opinion. It is partly out of deference to this base that President Lula was reluctant to criticize either Chavez or Evo Morales, despite considerable provocation.

PV - Green Party / Partido Verde. The Green Party has emerged as a political institution in Tasmania (Australia). A group of environmentalists called United Tasmanian Group met for the first time in 1972. In Brazil the first manifestation political party with the name of Green Party occurred in the State of Paraná in 1982. The candidate Congressman Hamilton PTB Vilela Magellan used in its advertising, including TV, the name of the Green Party and a whale as a symbol. This, however, was a demonstration alone. The Green Party came into being in 1986 in Rio de Janeiro. A group of writers, journalists, environmentalists, artists and also by former political exiles began to shape the PV. Participants in this group Alfredo Sirkis, Daniel Herbert, Guido Gelli, Lucélia Santos and Fernando Gabeira, among others.

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Page last modified: 03-05-2016 19:49:51 ZULU