The Politics of Personality in Brazil

Issue Date April 2011
Volume 22
Issue 2
Page Numbers 75-88
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President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva steered Brazil into an era of economic stability and growth. Under his administration, redistributive social policies lifted thirty-million people out of poverty and the country rose as a player in world politics. Riding his coattails, Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff, a newcomer to electoral politics, won Brazil’s highest office on 31 October 2010 by a 12-point margin over José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). Yet it is debatable whether he created a lasting electoral realignment. Lulismo remains an expression of personalized politics rather than a manifestation of more enduring partisan commitments.