Brazil, or the Spirit of Montesquieu

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (REUTERS/Carla Carniel)

Perhaps the proximity of the Day of the Dead inspired the return to our continent of the spirit of Charles Louis de Secondat better known as Montesquieu, whose legacy was the design of a government scheme to sustain democracy that is based on the separation of powers, with independent authorities being in charge of executing, creating public policies and administering Justice. All these authorities would be bound by the rule of law.

In Latin America we have centuries betting on the Executive. The caudillo, the strong man, the enlightened despot has been the central figure of Latin American tragicomedy. Very recently, parliaments have begun to be strengthened, as is the case in Peru and to some extent in Argentina and Colombia. But Montesquieu-style systems only seem to exist in Uruguay; Chili; Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic,

The elections on Sunday, October 30 in Brazil seem to herald new times for Ibero-America. All the results seem to reflect the spirit of Montesquieu for whom the separation of powers established a system of checks and balances that not only wards off authoritarianism but also protects the freedoms and achievements of a nation. The Executive will be chaired by Luiz Innácio Da Silva, but even though he obtained two million votes more than those that took him to the presidency at the dawn of the 21st century, his advantage over his contender, the president Bolsonaro, it was really dim.

In the Senate, the government party made progress, but control of both the House and the Senate is held by a center-right coalition created by and led by Bolsonaro. And within the body of senators the prosecutor was elected Serge Moor, who would not compromise with any attempt by Da Silva or Bolsonaro to weaken the constitution. The judiciary long ago crowned its independence. And for the first time in its history, the nation has two groups of character and national weight on the left and right, thus ending the days of retail politics in which, in order to achieve something, multiple canonries had to be offered to a universe of small parties with no clear ideology. .

The institutional political framework that emerged from the elections is an incentive for the opposing forces to move to the center. Because the challenges that the country will face in the economic and social spheres demand solutions that can only be articulated by consensus. So Brazil seems to be heading towards a stage of its democratic development in which the country will hardly fall into authoritarian temptation. On the contrary, a period of democratic construction seems to have begun. Given the geopolitical weight of Brazil in the region, I think we have reason to celebrate the electoral results of Pelé’s homeland.

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Brazil, or the Spirit of Montesquieu