Brazilian Social Democracy Party

Brazilian Social Democracy Party

Infobox Brazilian Political Party
party_articletitle = Brazilian Social Democracy Party
party_name = Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira
president = Sérgio Guerra
foundation = June 25, 1988
headquarters = SGAS Q.607,Ed. Metrópolis, Mód. B Cobertura 2- AsaSul
ideology =Social democracy, Centre-left
international = observer status at Christian Democrat Organization of America
colours = blue, yellow
tse_number = 45
website = []
The Brazilian Social Democracy Party ("Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira", PSDB) is a political party in Brazil. Its mascot symbol is a blue and green colored toucan (and its members are called "tucanos" for such reason) and its election code is 45.

In the general elections, 1 October 2006, the party won 65 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil and 5 out of 27 seats available in the Senate of Brazil totaling 15 senators. In the presidential elections held at the same time, its candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, came second in the first round. In the run-off he lost, with 39.17% of the votes, to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Some of the PSDB politicians who are currently in elected office are: Sérgio Guerra (senator for the state of Pernambuco and the party's President), Tasso Jereissati (senator for the state of Ceará), Aécio Neves (governor of Minas Gerais) ,Yeda Crusius (governor of Rio Grande do Sul) and José Serra (governor of the State of São Paulo).

Despite its name, the PSDB is not a member of the Socialist International [] which draws together social democratic parties worldwide (the Brazilian member of the Socialist International is the Democratic Labour Party (PDT)). Also, the party has not, and has never had, the links to trade union movements that usually characterize social democratic parties; it used to sponsor a Central Union, SDS (Social-Democracia Sindical), which has now merged, together with Central Autônoma dos Trabalhadores (CAT), and the much more important Central Geral dos Trabalhadores (CGT), into the União Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT) [] , but its impact among the unions has always been quite unimpressive compared to even much smaller parties as the PDT or the PCdoB, or to the "tucanos"'s own influence in society at large.


The PSDB is one of the largest and most important political parties in Brazil. Its official program states its policies as being social-democratic and often associated with the Third Way movement, although the party is also regarded as being influenced by neoliberalism. The party's program [] states that it "reject [s] populism and authoritarianism, as well as both fundamentalist neoliberalism "and" obsolete national-statism."

PSDB was founded on June 25, 1988, having "democracy as a fundamental value" and "social justice" as an aim to be reached. In its foundation, the party attempted to unite political groups as diverse as "social democrats", "'social liberals ", "Christian democrats" and "democratic socialists".With the collapse of the military dictatorship in the early 80's, a group of social-democrat intellectuals were mobilized to create a leftist party. They attempted to work with the labour movement (organized by Lula, the current president of Brazil), but the groups were unable to compromise. One group pushed to create a social-democratic party, while the other group wanted to create a democratic socialist party. The socialists joined the syndicalists and created the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Worker's Party), and the other group years later created the first Social-Democratic Party of Brazil (PSDB). This period when PSDB was created was a very significant moment in the history of Brazilian politics. On April 21, 1985, the Brazilian people witnessed the death of Tancredo Neves, the last president not elected directly by the people since the beginning of the dictatorial government. With the formation of new parties, including PSDB, a National Constitutional Assembly was created which drafted the current, democratic constitution, in 1988.

A high proportion of the first members of PSDB came from the so-called "historic PMDB". This was and still is a very large party with many internal conflicts. The founders of PSDB were dissatisfied with the results of the Constitutional Assembly, and decided to create a party to reflect the need for a national political renewal. As their manifesto states, the new party was created "away from the official benefits, but close to the pulsing of the streets" (speech by a leader of the party: Franco Montoro). Some of the founding members were José Serra, who ran for president and lost to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2002 General Elections; Mário Covas (Governor of São Paulo State 1994-1998/1998-2001); Franco Montoro (Governor of São Paulo State 1982-1986), Fernando Henrique Cardoso (President of Brazil 1994-2002), Aécio Neves (Governor of Minas Gerais State 2002-), Geraldo Alckmin (Governor of São Paulo State 2001-2006).

Modern times

Many years after its creation, PSDB grew faster than any other party in Brazilian history, with an astonishingly good performance in elections at all levels. President Fernando Henrique Cardoso enjoyed eight years (1994-2002) of political stability in his tenure as president.

Because of the party's size, many members do not have the level of political education needed to spell out the real principles behind which it was founded or at least are not able to do so with the same force as its leading members. Fact|date=February 2007 Yet, it remains one of the most democratic parties in the country and undoubtedly plays an important role in the current new era of Brazilian politics.

Political alignment

PSDB questions the use of what it considers "outdated political labels", such as "left" and "right". To quote a document drafted by Fernando Henrique Cardoso's office in 1990:

"If left means to be against the existing social order, and right in favor, then social-democracy is without doubt a left current... A social democrat is before anything someone who has critical sense — who realizes the injustices of society and has no fear to oppose them, even at the risk of being taken as a subversive or a dreamer."

The party did not preach nationalization or privatization in general ("the consensus is that the state must not be too big or too small, but 'have the size and functions corresponding to the needs of the whole of society'"), although president Cardoso privatized many large public companies, such as Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) and the national telecommunication system.

External links

* [ Official web site]
* [ Official Site of Institute of Political studies of the party]

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