Brazil’s newspapers are back to business as usual this morning. See for example, the front page of the Folha de S.Paulo. If you’re looking on Monday the 1st, it’s back to football and the political fallout of the last fortnight of demonstrations, not the unrest itself. A Brazilian colleague tells me that the nascent movement will face a big challenge as many Brazilians start to think about July holidays. Will middle class protest leaders prefer street demonstrations or the beach (even the beach in winter)? The poll numbers of leaders in the big states and of President Rousseff have suffered very badly (she’s down 20 points) but the next elections are not until mid-2014 and very few think the protests will still be gong then. Most problematic of all, the protesters don’t have any concrete demands: they’re against corruption and in favour of fairness but, then again, who is not?
It all sounds a lot like the Occupy Wal Street movement or one of London’s periodic outbursts: genuine anger, underlying problems but no real alternative on offer.
My colleague thinks that there will be some increase in health and education spending. The bloated public sector will get a couple of jolts. The big firms which are perceived to be recipients of undeserved government largesse will feel a bit under-nourished for a while. A couple of constitutional amendments — especially the one on the rights of domestic workers — will probably edge through. This is not, though, the early 1990s or the late 1970s: there is unlikely to be systemic change