Finally, the Jair Bolsonaro administration has submitted its pension system reform bill to Congress. However, nothing which enters the Brazilian legislature makes it all the way through to the other side as law without significant changes. The project is one thing; the finished product is something else entirely. Brazilian civil society is full of pressure groups and resistance to the reform, while the Legislature has signaled it is not about to become the Executive branch’s rubber stamp. This reform requires politics, and it’s about time the government got started.
President Jair Bolsonaro dismisses the traditional “give and take” methods of building majorities. This has some merit: the hyper-cronyism of Brazilian politics has led to dysfunctionality and exhaustion. Abandoning this model, however, requires something new to go in its place to capture hearts and minds, build and consolidate majorities, and reach full governability.