Brazillian President Dilma Rousseff has taken an unusual approach to quell the recent uproar of protests on federal spending largely due to the proposed soccer stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. She has proposed that Brazil take a constitutional vote on the matter, giving the protesters a far opportunity to earn what they want.
With an economy that has been sluggish of late, Rousseff has not had the federal funds needed to address all the concerns of protesters as well as prepare to host the spectacle of the World Cup. One of the largest sporting events in the world, a lot of money goes into preparing facilities for the event. Protesters believe that instead of spending such a significant portion of the federal budget on something as menial as soccer. Protesters are hoping to better public transportation, eliminate corruption, and improve healthcare with the money designated for the World Cup, and hope that voters come out and agree.
Brazil has seen a political uproar in the form of protests, something it has been without since it first ratified its constitution back in 1988. That makes 25 years without a major political change, timing that could make it difficult for Rousseff to win reelection after the World Cup next year. She currently has a 55 percent approval rating.
Soccer was not always such a central focus of the protesters. However after such vast amounts of money was proposed to fund only facilities to host a sporting event, the people have shown up in droves to show their disdain for their government at national soccer games.
Protesters hope that the vote will expose the flawed government spending, and enable their changes to be enacted, which they feel will better Brazil as a whole. Rousseff has put forward a plan to address the issues that concern Brazilian protesters, however there are concerns as to where the funds would come from. Inflation has gone through the roof as the economy has continued to struggle to gain any sort of traction of late.
Brazil saw protesters show up in force for its recent soccer match against Uruguay. The Confederations Cup isn’t the same stage as the World Cup, however the protesters used this to gain momentum in their fight for political change in Brazil, perhaps earning the vote as a result.
One of the most die hard soccer communities, it is surprising to see the sport that seemingly united the people of Brazil split them up so significantly. A would has been opened, and it is one that Rousseff hopes can be fixed as a result of the upcoming vote over the protesters demands.
The Brazilian President has shown herself to value the democratic values and spirit embodied by the protesters she has given a vote to. “The streets are telling us that the country wants quality public services, more effective measures to combat corruption and responsive political representation,” she said in a statement about the protesters.
The World Cup will be coming to Brazil in 2014, and the world’s eye will begin to focus more and more on the hosting nation. Putting the issue to vote is a risky move, but one that could pay off for the president in a reelection year. Whichever way the protest vote goes in Brazil, it will have rippling effects on the nation’s plans to host one of the world’s largest and most popular sporting events.
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The Guardian Express