Let's have an informative thread about each country's electoral geography and how it ties to demography, regionalism and so on.
Brazil's sharp blue state/purple state/red state divide, which only emerged from 2006 onwards, has been talked about a lot; Geocurrents had two excellent articles about it. I won't talk about the basics, as they're already covered well enough. But Martin W. Lewis has missed some things.
First of all, party loyalties at the state level do make a difference. This factor isn't as strong as it used to be in the Old/Oligarchic Republic period (1889-1930), when the entire national political process was centered on state-level loyalties, but is still felt in some states.
Rio Grande do Sul's leftist past mentioned in his article is a legacy of the state's social democratic loyalties. As they leaned towards a different, non Workers Party string of social democracy (see Leonel Brizola, the leftist who famously called Lula a "bearded frog") that has been defeated and cucked by the PT, their support for Lula gradually faded away.
São Paulo is an even better example: the entire state is radically anti-PT and anti-leftist, and has had fought to install its distinct political views on the federal government for over a century, to the point of fighting a civil war in 1932 when it was evicted from a decade-long liberal hegemony.
Another important point is that the hinterland has some distinct electoral factors absent from the densely populated coastal states the northernmost two still count as hinterland; Lewis shrugs off Roraima as an irrelevant case, but it expresses the same factors he covered about Mato Grosso.
What the hinterland states have in common is that their vast swathes of desolate savanna and jungle have experienced continuous waves of settlement and economic development since the last century. Thus, they have three dynamics that impact their voting:
>Highly profitable agricultural frontier areas versus poor traditional communities
>Expanding ethnic Brazilian settlement versus native communities and their reserve areas, with leftist governments backing the natives;
>Land reform, local political machines controlled by the rural upper class, peasant-landowner class conflict, far-left movements that claim to represent the landless invading and damaging property everywhere and so on
I know some of this personally, as I have an uncle who moved a couple decades ago to become a landowner in the hinterland; whenever he visits us, he complains about gun control and ignorant gringos/southeeasterners who know nothing about his situation, but constantly shill for environmentalism, natives, land reform and so on.
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