In the agro, Lula raises the ball for Bolsonaro to cut and reaffirms division – 02/05/2023

As an economic force, the power of agribusiness, responsible for almost a quarter of the Brazilian GDP, is notorious.

As an electoral force, the sector represents, underneath, 15 million votes.

The number is the sum of voters who went to the polls in the last presidential elections and who, according to research agency Quaest, have some connection with agribusiness or declared having an “identity with the countryside”.

It was for this segment that President Lula gave a banana last weekend.

By being absent from Agrishow, regarded as one of the largest agricultural technology fairs in the world, and leaving the territory free for Jair Bolsonaro to hold the party, the PT government reaffirmed its option for division: there is Brazil that is “with him” and what is “against him” — agribusiness, which voted mostly for Bolsonaro, is, of course, in the second category.

“I’m not worried when they say that agriculture doesn’t like Lula. I don’t want them to like it, but that they respect me”, said the president, still in the campaign, when he also stated that, although there are “serious entrepreneurs”, part of agribusiness is “fascist and rightist”. And already off the stage, on January 8, with the wreckage of the Bolsonarist attack still smoking, he released, without anyone asking him, that “it was possibly also there” (in the attacks) the “evil agribusiness”, which “uses pesticides , without any respect for human health”.

Lula’s speeches are not just the result of the resentment that he swears not to harbor from those who do not give him fair recognition and never looked upon him with goodwill.

As an electoral strategy, the president’s behavior is even defended by specialists in political marketing. Felipe Nunes, from Quaest, for example, considers that the ideological polarization in Brazil has reached such a degree that it is useless for the Lula government to try to attract the electorate that voted for Bolsonaro in 2022 (and what better way would he focus on voters without political convictions, like the more than 20% of Brazilians who did not go to the polls).

Lula, by directing the lines to his base and disdaining the electorate in tune with the opponent, signals that he shares the thesis of inevitable polarization.

And if it is a reality from the electoral point of view, it foreshadows turbulence in the near horizon — it will be on the basis of “us against them” that the country’s main issues, such as the announced agrarian reform, will tend to be dealt with.

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