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Gentleman Aécio and the Rhetoric of Moderation

Source: Terra Brasil.

Aécio Neves: The soft-spoken governor of Minas Gerais and president of the PSDB is a different political animal than the attack dogs of the right and center right in the opposition coalition.

Perhaps this is because the UDN-inspired moralism of some of its principal leaders have led to a series of high-profile disgraces — Senator Demostenes Torres chief among them.

In any event, it is high time the opposition reevaluated its (dis)course. The choice of Neves as a candidate of renewal and renovation over São Paulo governor José Serra in 2012, driven by hate speech on the social networks, might have produced better results, for example.

Viewed by the federal executve as a normal reaction in a climate of political disputes, PSDB Senator Aécio Neves (MG) believes the decline in the approval rating reflects a general dissatisfaction with the Brazilian political elite: “The polls indicate what the mass demonstrations already reflect: a dissatisfaction not just with President Dilma but with the political class as a whole, due to the lack of effective answers to the problems the people face. These are debts we have accumulated over the years. It is up to us to understand this important message with humility and a sense of responsibility.”

Two surveys published by Datafolha this weekend indicate a sense of political fatigue in the midst of a wave of protests. The first survey indicated that Dilma’s approval rating fell 27 points in three weeks, from 57% to 30%. The second indicated that the incumbent president lost ground in voter preference as well, falling from 51% to 30% in the first three weeks of June, a scenario that would imply a second round in a hypothetical presidential election. Rousseff’s decline was accompanied by an increase in the voter intention of three potential adversaries: Marina Silva, Neves and Eduardo Campos.

Additional factoid: Both Cardoso (1998) and Lula (2002) had approval ratings in the vicinity of 30 at this stage of their respective presidential runs.