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Brazilian Social Democracy Party

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Brazilian Social Democracy Party
Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira
AbbreviationPSDB
Founded25 June 1988
Legalised24 August 1989
Split fromMDB
HeadquartersBrasília, Brazil
Think tankInstituto Teotônio Vilela
Youth wingJuventude PSDB
Women's wingPSDB Mulher
Black wingTucanAFRO
LGBT wingDiversidade Tucana
Membership (2024)1,326,233[1]
IdeologyThird Way
Factions:
Social liberalism[2]
Liberal conservatism[3]
Political positionCentre to centre-right
Regional affiliationChristian Democrat Organization of America (observer)
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
Colors  Blue
  Yellow
TSE identification number45
Website
psdb.org.br

The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Portuguese: Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira; abbreviated PSDB) is a Brazilian centre to centre-right political party. Founded in 1988 and registered in 1989, it emerged from a centre to centre-left split in the Brazilian Democratic Movement that sought to mix social democracy and Christian democracy with economic liberalism.[4][5] It was the historical rival of the Workers' Party until the rise of more right-leaning Jair Bolsonaro. Currently, the party follows Third Way principles, seeking to be seen as a centrist party.[6]

In addition to being the party of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (better known as FHC), throughout history, PSDB supported former Presidents Itamar Franco and Michel Temer, and opposed former Presidents Fernando Collor, Lula, and Dilma Rousseff. At first, provided support and participated in the base of Bolsonaro's government, but joined the opposition in September 2021.[7]

History overview

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The Brazilian Social Democracy Party was founded in 1988, shortly before the promulgation of the Federal Constitution that year, which marked Brazil's return to democracy after more than two decades of military dictatorship.

Prominent figures in the founding of the PSDB include intellectuals and politicians such as Mário Covas, FHC, José Serra, among others. These founders came from different political currents, but initially shared a centre-left vision, committed to balanced economic policies, garnering support from social-democrats while the then more left-leaning Workers' Party garnered support from democratic socialists and trade unions.

The name "Brazilian Social Democracy Party" was chosen to represent a Brazilian version of social democracy, with the choice of a toucan as the party's symbol as a way of creating a unique visual identity that differentiates it from European social-democratic parties.[8] Due to the logo, its members and sympathizers are called tucanos.

The party's peak was the presidency of FHC, who governed Brazil for two consecutive terms, between 1995 and 2002. His government was marked by economic reforms, such as the Plano Real, which stabilized the Brazilian economy and controlled hyperinflation, and also through social programs to help poor families, such as the Programa de Saúde da Família and Bolsa Escola. During his second government, FHC adopted neoliberal policies and saw his unpopularity grow.

Since the end of FHC's government, the party has alternated between governing and opposing the federal government. It run in several presidential elections, with José Serra, Geraldo Alckmin, and Aécio Neves as the main candidates from 2002 to 2018. Although it won important state governments, such as São Paulo and Minas Gerais, the party has not managed to regain the presidency since 2002.

In recent decades, the party has faced internal and external challenges, including corruption scandals,[9][10] leadership disputes and changes in the national political landscape. There's also a growing ideological polarization in Brazil between the leftist Workers' Party supporters and rightist Bolsonaro supporters, leaving PSDB without a broad support.

Today, although a relevant force in Brazilian politics, PSDB faces the challenge of reinventing itself and attracting voters in an increasingly fragmented and polarized political scenario. Its ideological position has been the subject of internal debate, with some members defending a more centre-right turn and others maintaining a more centrist stance.

Electoral history

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Presidential elections

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Year Candidate First round Second round Role
Votes Vote % Votes Vote %
1989 Mário Covas 7,786,939 11.5% (4th) In opposition
1994 Fernando Henrique Cardoso 34,362,726 54.3 (1st) In government coalition
1998 35,922,692 53.1 (1st) In government coalition
2002 José Serra 19,694,843 23.2 (2nd) 33,356,860 38.7 (2nd) In opposition
2006 Geraldo Alckmin 39,968,369 41.6 (2nd) 37,543,178 39.2 (2nd) In opposition
2010 José Serra 33,132,283 32.6 (2nd) 43,711,388 44.0 (2nd) In opposition
2014 Aécio Neves 34,897,211 33.6 (2nd) 51,041,155 48.4 (2nd) In opposition
2018 Geraldo Alckmin 5,096,277 4.8 (4th) In government coalition

Legislative elections

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Election Chamber of Deputies Federal Senate Role in government
Votes % Seats +/– Votes % Seats +/–
1990 3,515,809 8.68%
38 / 513
New N/A N/A
1 / 32
New Independent
1994 6,350,941 13.90%
62 / 513
Increase 24 15,652,182 16.34%
9 / 54
Increase 8 Coalition
1998 11,684,900 17.54%
99 / 513
Increase 37 6,366,681 10.30%
16 / 81
Increase 5 Coalition
2002 12,473,743 14.26%
70 / 513
Decrease 29 21,360,291 13.90%
11 / 81
Decrease 5 Opposition
2006 12,691,043 13.62%
65 / 513
Decrease 6 10,547,778 12.50%
14 / 81
Increase 3 Opposition
2010 11,477,380 11.88%
53 / 513
Decrease 12 30,903,736 18.13%
11 / 81
Decrease 3 Opposition
2014 11,073,631 11.39%
54 / 513
Increase 1 23,880,078 26.73%
10 / 81
Decrease 1 Opposition (2014-2016)
Coalition (2016-2018)
2018 5,905,541 6.01%
29 / 513
Decrease 25 20,310,558 11.85%
8 / 81
Decrease 2 Independent
2022 3,309,061 3.02%
13 / 513
Decrease 16 1,394,547 1.37%
4 / 81
Decrease 4 Independent

Municipal elections

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Mayors
Year Votes % Votes +/– No. of
overall seats won
+/–
2008 14,537,570 N/A New
791 / 5,568
New
2012 13,950,000 13.57 (2nd) N/A
693 / 5,568
Decrease 94
2016 17,633,653 N/A
803 / 5,568
Increase 110
2020 10,332,139 N/A
520 / 5,568
Decrease 283

References

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  1. "Filiação Partidária da Eleição | Estatística de Filiação" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Superior Electoral Court. 2022. Retrieved 16 April 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)[permanent dead link]
  2. "Programa Partidário do Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira de 1988" (PDF) (in Brazilian Portuguese). PSDB.
  3. *"PSDB: de progressista a conservador". Jornal do Brasil (in Brazilian Portuguese). 28 July 2015. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  4. Ribeiro, Aline (28 May 2019). "'UM PSDB DIVIDIDO NÃO VAI SOBREVIVER', DIZ CIENTISTA POLÍTICO" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 1 June 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  5. Leone, Matheus (18 November 2013). "Artigo: Por uma Social Democracia contemporânea" (in Brazilian Portuguese). PSDB.
  6. Goldman, Alberto (18 May 2001). "Declaração Programática do Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (Documento preliminar para discussão interna)" (PDF). Instituto de Iberoamérica (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  7. "PSDB vê crime de responsabilidade de Bolsonaro e anuncia oposição ao governo". G1 (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  8. "PSDB é partido social democrata? FHC explica nome do partido" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Jovem Pan News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2024 – via YouTube.
  9. "Desde 2000, 623 políticos foram cassados. DEM lidera ranking". O Globo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  10. Talita Abrantes (8 September 2012). "PSDB tem o maior número de barrados pelo Ficha Limpa". Exame (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 21 October 2014.