Power

After three years of Bolsonaro, Brazilians’ appreciation of democracy grows

Despite ample signs of democratic backsliding under Bolsonaro and further threats on the horizon, greater support for democracy marks a welcome shift

democracy Ele Não ("Not him") was a slogan anti-Bolsonaro voters use since 2018. Photo: Thales Antonio/Shutterstock
Ele Não (“Not him”) was a slogan anti-Bolsonaro voters use since 2018. Photo: Thales Antonio/Shutterstock

Few political analysts disagree that Brazil’s young democracy will face its biggest challenge in its 37 years of existence later this year. Voters will choose a new president, governors, and lawmakers in a climate of exceptional polarization. Worryingly, the unpopular incumbent president has consistently indicated he will not take defeat gracefully.

But the country does have one thing going for it: Brazilians, who traditionally express strong distrust of public institutions, have grown fonder of democracy.

In its latest electoral poll, the Ipespe institute showed that although two-thirds of voters are unsatisfied with the state of Brazilian democracy, the portion...

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