Even with different opinions about the strategies used to attract drivers, DF voters say that fuel prices can influence their votes.
By: Gabriel de Souza
One of the most important themes of this year’s presidential elections is the price of fuel at Brazilian gas stations. In the current polarized scenario, both President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and former President Lula (PT) – the two who score the most in electoral polls – discuss the matter in their speeches, given the importance of captivating drivers before of the lawsuits.
Last Sunday (18), during his trip to London, England, where he attended the funeral of Queen Elisabeth II, Bolsonaro published a video on his social media where he compares the price of gasoline at a local station with the amount paid by consumers. Brazilians. In the recording, the president did not consider the fact that a Brit needs to spend 5.8% of his minimum wage to fill a 55-liter tank, while a Brazilian needs to set aside 22.5% of his salary.
“The price of gasoline: 1.61 pounds. This gives approximately R$ 9.70 a liter. That is, practically double the average of many states in Brazil. So gasoline is a reality, one of the cheapest in the world. A hug to all of Brazil. It is the Brazilian government working for you,” the president said in the video.
Taking advantage of the criticism made to recent sales by fuel distributors and the lack of investment in refineries, former president Lula (PT) said in an interview with Canal Rural, held this past Wednesday (21), that, if elected , will try to make Brazil “go back to being self-sufficient” in oil. The measure, according to the candidate, would bring greater savings to drivers’ pockets. “BR Distribuidora was destroyed because it was a monopoly. Today, we have 392 companies importing gasoline from the United States”, said the PT worker.
Thinking about his popularity with the electorate, Bolsonaro, in March of this year, sanctioned a law that changed the distribution of ICMS for fuel, in an attempt to reduce the price of fuel, which, at the time, cost up to R$ 7.50. for regular gasoline and R$ 8 for diesel.
According to the National Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP), consumers in the Federal District pay an average of R$4.86 for regular gasoline and R$6.80 for diesel, which last Tuesday ( 20), suffered a further reduction of up to R$ 0.26 in the pump panel. A week before the first round of elections, drivers who fill up their cars at gas stations in the capital say that the price of fuel will influence their vote.
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Fuel as a source of income
At the post located on the campus of the University of Brasília (UnB), app driver Rodolfo Silva, 49, says he was happy with the reduction in prices by the Federal Government and considers that the topic will be important in the decision of his vote. next day 2.
“Nobody came up with a solution to lower the price of gasoline, it was just politicians and the media complaining that the price of gasoline was high. Then the president managed to go there and reduced the ICMS, making fuel cheaper. Although I don’t see anyone speaking well of what he did, which I think should be done, since they only spoke badly, I recognize his effort”, explained the driver.
During the peak of fuel prices at the beginning of the year, Silva says that he used to spend more than R$200 a day filling up his car. He recalls that he went through financial difficulties for not making a profit on his runs by app. For this reason, voters believe that the topic is important for the definition of a candidate. “A lot of people need to put gas in their car to be able to take food home. If the candidate says he wants to put food on people’s tables, he needs to think about that too,” he concludes.
A justifiable strategy
Journalism student Arthur Vieira, 20, got his own car this year 2022, and believes that having a vehicle to get around is related to the freedom to come and go, guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. Therefore, the young man considers that the price of fuel is of great importance when voting, especially when considering that candidates always include the topic in their agendas.
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“We can see that there are even candidates who base themselves on raising or lowering the price of gasoline in order to campaign. For you to see how much they consider this and how important it is for the people, and also for the Brazilian vote”, says the voter.
Asked about the Federal Government’s strategies to reduce the price of fuel at pumps, and thus seek an increase in Bolsonaro’s popularity before the elections, the student believes that the strategy ends up being effective in attracting new voters. “If I were a candidate, I would also talk about the gasoline issue, and if my government was in a good situation, I would also use gasoline as a promise. It is justifiable to do so,” he says.
When leaving a gas station in Planaltina, professor Humberto Pires, 43, says he took advantage of a promotion to fill his car’s tank with a liter of gasoline for R$4.90. The driver says he is relieved by the recent drop in prices, but is critical of the Federal Government’s intent. “It’s the famous gift with an expiration date. If the people go with him [Bolsonaro]and he wins, after the elections the price will go up again”, says the voter.
Humberto evaluates himself as a voter attuned to the political world, and says he is aware of electoral strategies that involve fuel prices. For him, Brazilians need to remember the prices that appeared on the plates since the beginning of the president’s term in 2019, and not just the decreases that “occur on the eve of the elections”.
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“Brazilians paid dearly for a long time, and to this day they pay an absurd amount. R$ 5 is not cheap like him [Bolsonaro] says, it’s just less expensive than before. People cannot have a short memory: if the price has dropped, it’s because someone has raised it. the way he [Bolsonaro] decreased, negotiating to stay low until the end of the year, it’s just to try to show that it did something until it passed the elections”, concludes the Planaltina professor.