Another opportunity for Lula to learn from Chavecito

From the Beeb, some interesting words on the newly re-elected Lula and what his mandate could mean:

Brazil’s newly re-elected President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has set out priorities for his second term.

In television interviews, he said the emphasis would be economic development, the redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, and education.

Lula, as the left-leaning President is known, won more than 60% of the vote in Sunday’s poll, beating his rival Geraldo Alckmin.

He interprets that as a mandate to continue prioritising the poor.

Speaking on Brazilian television, the president said a layer of Brazilian society had for centuries been marginalised and if those people could be levered up into the middle class everyone would benefit.

In the coming days Lula’s challenge is to assemble a solid coalition in Brazil’s parliament, and some commentators are pessimistic about prospects for significant legislation.

“I believe that Lula will have a very difficult time in Brazil for the next four years,” said Claudio Cuto, a politics professor at the Catholic Pontificate University of Sao Paulo.

“Governments in Brazil need to change the constitution if they want to govern,” he said, adding that the government and the opposition were sharply polarised.

“If you want, for example, to change the tax structures in Brazil you have to amend a constitution and so you need super majorities to do it.”

This is not something any one leader, or small cadre of leaders, should attempt alone, as it invariably results in oligarchy and entrenched inequity. Therefore, it might be a good time for Lula to take a leaf from Chavecito’s book and convene a constituent assembly, elected by the people, to write a new, more equitable constitution that lets leaders get real work done on the people’s behalf.

It did wonders for Venezuela!

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