AND Weekly Editorial – Nearly 50 million reject electoral farce

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Editorial Staff of AND
04 October 2022

Weekly Editorial – Nearly 50 million reject electoral farce

Electronic voting machine set on fire by a man in Fortaleza during the 2018 elections. Photo: AND Database

In the first round of the general elections on 2 October, what drew the most attention – including from the worrying columnists in the pay of the media monopolies – was the high rate of abstentions, invalid and blank votes. In abstention alone, it was the highest figure – in official data – since 1998.

There were more than 38 million Brazilians who, registered with the TSE, did not show up or did not vote for any candidate, according to official data from the court itself. Official figures, but underestimated, because they do not include young people between 16 and 18 years of age who have not registered with the electoral justice system, nor those citizens who, despite being obliged to do so, do not respond to appeals to regularise their electoral registration.

The official number of abstentions (people eligible to vote and registered who do not attend) is 32.8 million, and invalid and blank votes are 5.5 million, totalling 38.2 million. There are approximately 10.9 million people eligible to vote (able to vote) who did not register with the electoral justice system and therefore also abstained.

Counting those excluded, there are at least 49.1 million people eligible to vote who did not register, did not attend or voted blank and null, against about 57.3 million votes obtained by Luiz Inácio, first runner-up and 51.1 obtained by Bolsonaro, runner-up. That is 49.1 million people, flesh and blood, who despite the punishments and all the blackmail to vote for the “least worst”, refused to cast their vote for any candidate or did not mobilise to regularise their situation in the TSE. It is worth noting that the highest abstention rate in the country (official data) was in Rondônia, with 24.7%.

The ideological bombardment and blackmail on all sides to ensure a high turnout in the electoral farce was as rarely seen in the history of this old republic. It is justified: the high rate of abstention, nulls and blanks recorded in every election is the result of the deep stage of decomposition of the reactionary political system and, moreover, aggravates this crisis as it grows. As a result of the TSE’s war effort, there is a resounding failure.

Why does the electoral boycott only grow? Because, at different levels of consciousness, all these people fundamentally do not believe in this reactionary process at all. They do not believe it, because, in their concrete experience, it is confirmed that the electoral farce can only produce the same result: the increasing worsening of their living conditions, interspersed with rare and very brief periods of less pressure.

It is essential not to see this as depoliticisation. On the contrary. This realisation is the living, if still fragmented, knowledge of the masses. As the revolutionary mass movement advances, joining these desperate masses, their fragmented, sensitive knowledge is transformed into comprehensive scientific knowledge as they transform their living conditions through class struggle. In this way, the masses come to recognise that bourgeois democracy is only the mask of the real problem: the dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie and the latifundia, servants of imperialism, mainly Yankee imperialism. And they recognise that the complete transformation of the country will not come about through elections, but through the revolutionary overthrow of these classes and the emergence of a New State supported and governed by the masses themselves, New Democracy.

Another important point. The election result, which takes the presidential election to the second round and shows that Bolsonaro still has strength, does not surprise the consistent revolutionaries and democrats. The reactionary sector, which rages against the decaying bourgeois democracy, preaching the march towards fascism, will not lose its strength, but will strengthen it, while the crisis of bourgeois democracy continues. Behold, an inept man like Bolsonaro, demoralised to the bone, even he, does not entirely lose his mass base, purely and simply because a certain important segment of them believe in the half-truths of the denunciation that, hypocritically, “the captain of the forest” makes of the rottenness of the old democracy.

The crisis of bourgeois democracy and the tendency towards fascism will endure and feed back on each other until they are definitively swept away by the uninterrupted revolution of new democracy to Socialism. Either the revolution advances, or the tendency to fascism advances day by day, with or without a “democratic” mask. There is no third way.