The Brazilian 2020 municipal elections have come and gone. While we think it is advisable not to overstate the trends in municipal races when forecasting national politics, one thing stands out: once again, the group known as the “Big Center” comes out as the biggest force in Brazilian politics — winning races in almost half of Brazil’s municipalities.
The Big Center is despised by voters, but cajoled by politicians.
This week, we explain what the so-called “Big Center” is, and why it is such a major political dynamo in Brazil.
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On this episode:
- Filipe Campante is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is interested in political economy, development economics, and urban/regional issues. His research looks at what constrains politicians and policymakers beyond formal checks and balances: cultural norms, institutions, media, political protest.
- Columnist Maurício Santoro, a political scientist at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, explained in The Brazilian Report a brief history of Brazil’s “centrists” and their role in Brazilian politics.
- Jair Bolsonaro badmouthed the Big Center. Now, his presidency hinges on the support from that group. Bolsonaro’s new bedfellows deliver results, but for how long?
- After the municipal elections, the political mainstream turns its eyes to the races for House Speaker and Senate President. Débora Álvares explains how the current heads of Congress want to shred the rulebook to stay in power for longer.
- The House Speaker position holds all the power to block or initiate impeachment proceedings against a sitting president. And that’s why Jair Bolsonaro wants to do the impossible and have an ally as the next Speaker.
- Editor-in-chief Gustavo Ribeiro and data journalist Aline Gatto Boueri draw Brazil’s political map following the municipal elections.
- Why Brazil’s 2020 municipal elections represented a break with the 2018 zeitgeist.
- How the coronavirus affected Brazil’s 2020 election — and politics in general.
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