July 12, 2019


The Real Story of Brazil's Pension Reform (MONICA DE BOLLE, JULY 11, 2019, Americas Quarterly)

The Brazilian pension reform has become a defining issue for the left and the anti-left. For leftists, or those identified by the anti-left as members of that camp, Bolsonaro and any policy proposed by members of his government are the target of attacks and rejection. Facts and hard evidence have become just as irrelevant for this group of society as they are for Bolsonaro supporters and others. The left has staged a visceral campaign against pension reform in Brazil, often citing half-truths or unverified information to back up their arguments, mirroring the approach of Bolsonaro and his die-hard base of supporters on other highly-charged themes such as gender and climate issues. The left's fight against pension reform has thus served to rally anti-leftists in support of pension reform, leading to street demonstrations and unrelenting pro-reform posts on social media. Add to the mix the fact that the current Congress leans conservative and has all the ingredients to deliver a seemingly shocking vote in favor of the reform, which even claimed support from moderate deputies who did not associate themselves with the positions of their left or center-left parties.

Thus head scratch no more. Brazil's pension reform vote is only surprising if one analyzes it from the viewpoint of relatively normal political conditions. Brazil today, not unlike much of the world, is anything but normal.

Posted by at July 12, 2019 6:28 AM