Collective candidatures: representation and participation

Since the 2012 elections, electoral disputes in Brazil have had a new type of candidacies: collective candidacies. Although they are not yet regulated by electoral legislation, over the years, collective candidacies have emerged across the country as a possibility to transform institutional politics from new forms of organization and popular participation.

In ten years, the number of collective candidacies to the legislature jumped from three, in 2012, to 213 in 2022, as pointed out by the 2022 Elections Observatory. center-left, with emphasis on the PSOL (33%) and PT (16%), and have more women and self-declared black people than the national average.

Also according to the survey, the Northeast is the region with the highest number of collective candidacies, with 37% of the total. To understand more about the scenario in Paraíba, the Brasil de Fato PB spoke with representatives of Coletiva Nossa Voz (PT), Poder Delas (UP) and É Nóis a Change (PSOL). The first two run for the federal legislature and the last one for the state legislature.

Representativeness

In addition to the fact that they are composed of more than one person, the collective candidacies in Paraíba are also marked by the role of women. The slates Nossa Voz e Poder Delas, for example, are formed exclusively by female leaders, while É Nóis a Change is composed of a woman (Josi Barbosa) and a trans man (Luyz Mariano).

Josi Barbosa and Luyz Mariano, from É Nóis a Change (PSOL), in a campaign activity / Disclosure

Beatriz Firmino, a member of Poder Delas alongside Vitoria Ohara and Luana Mafra, says that female representation was one of the criteria in the process of building the candidacy:

“We, from the Popular Unit, think that a candidacy of women would be very important. Here in Paraíba we face a high rate of femicide and LGBTQIA+phobia, so there is an urgent need for a space where we can really feel represented, where we have a mandate focused on the working class, youth, women and the LGBTQIA+ community”, explains.

Diversity and responsibility for popular struggles were also fundamental in the composition of Nossa Voz, which has an indigenous representative (Jacyara Tabajara), a teacher (Danielle Alexa), a recyclable material collector (Egrinalda Santos) and the feminist activist Heloísa de Souza. According to Heloísa, female voters from Paraíba “see in the collective candidacy this renewal and power of women who are fighting not only for representative politics but for the improvement of the living conditions of the Brazilian people”.

“We have this diverse configuration precisely as a way of making the Brazilian people, this diverse people, be able to be on the political scene, presenting their agendas, claiming their needs and making politics what it should be, for the Brazilian people” , scores.

In the same vein, Josi Barbosa, from É Nóis a Change, highlighted that, in addition to gender parity, the role of black people was a priority.

“The process of composition of the candidacy started from the decision of PSOL Paraíba to form a collective slate of black women and men. This was placed as a priority. So the criteria were the following: being black people, with a vision aligned with the party, who fight against LGBTphobia and machismo, and that at least 50% of the ticket were women”, details the candidate.

Challenges

Although all the slates underline the good reception by the electorate during the beginning of the campaign, for bringing with them the proposal of renewal of the policy, the collective candidacies in Paraíba have also faced a series of obstacles and challenges. Lack of resources and political violence are some of them.

Josi Barbosa, for example, recalls that the É Nóis a Change team had to organize a raffle to fund the candidacy launch event. According to her, the lack of funds has even made it difficult for the team to travel to publicize the campaign in regions inside and outside the capital.


Beatriz Firmino, Luana Mafra and Vitoria Ohara, from the Poder Delas (UP) candidacy / Disclosure

According to Vitoria Ohara, in addition to the lack of financial resources, Poder Delas has also faced episodes of political violence, mainly due to what she calls the “fascistization of politics”.

“Often, when we’re on the street, a bolsonarista comes along, someone who shares these ideas, and curses us. But the important thing is that we see other people’s reactions. Most of them don’t think these attitudes are cool and ends up defending our side”, says the UP candidate.

The candidate of Nossa Voz, Egrinalda Santos, also adds people’s disbelief in politics as a challenge to be overcome by collective candidacies.

“The construction of our candidacy comes from the reliability of the people we represent, right? So this is the point we always make: we are grassroots people. people also feel it on their skin”, says the representative of the Recyclable Material Collectors Movement.

Popular participation

Regarding the functioning of collective candidacies and possible mandates, in case they are elected, Heloísa de Sousa, from Coletiva Nossa Voz, explains that the lack of legislation that regulates the performance of slates is still a major obstacle, because, according to her, ” these spaces are built very individually”.

“For example, the photo of four will not appear on the ballot box. My photo will appear, because I am the candidate registered for the Nossa Voz collective. The TSE recognizes collective candidacies, but it is not yet regulated what is necessary, for example , that all members can formally say that they are candidates and, thus, move away from [dos trabalhos] to be able to carry out the campaigns”, emphasizes the candidate.

Regarding the conduct of a possible mandate, Heloísa comments that Nossa Voz has a “broad and plural political council” that defines the political line and steps of the candidacy.

“Everything we decide, all the proposals, the steps, everything comes from the consensus of the candidates. From the candidates who, in turn, do not represent themselves, but represent popular movements. So each of us is the synthesis of the being debated and what these movements think”, he explains.

According to Luana Mafra, popular participation has also been the basis for all decisions and actions developed by Poder Delas. For the candidate, the purpose of a collective mandate is precisely “to call people to compose this mandate, to organize themselves”.

“We haven’t even been elected yet, but our program is already being built that way. Calling people to say what we need. So the mandate will be the same way”, he concludes.

“In addition to calling people to vote on October 2, we have been calling people to build together and it has been very successful”, adds running mate, Vitoria Ohara.

In the same vein, Josi Barbosa, from É Nóis a Change, reinforces: “Being elected, we intend to seek democracy, as we have been seeking since the beginning of our pre-campaign. Listening to each other’s agendas and dialoguing at all times. it’s an agreement of ours that we need and want to carry out safely”.

Source: BdF Paraíba

Editing: Thales Schmidt and Maria Franco


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Collective candidatures representation participation

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