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Marisa Matias, MEP and Presidential candidate supported by the Left Bloc was bold when she dared to run for a position that many judge to be reserved to the retirement of title-bearing politicians - even if those titles do not correspond to a clarity of ideas, and even if age is inversely proportional to the trajectory’s coherence.
She dared when she ran a people’s street campaign, filled with commotion but without cheapening politics and the depth of the much needed debate.
She also dared to think outside the box of inevitabilities, where priorities are inverted so throwing more of the taxpayers’ money into the banks is considered acceptable, however inconvenient. This is perhaps why she was the only one to reject straightaway this option for the bailout of the bank Banif.
She did it with clarity, without attempting to hide inconvenient truths: Brussel’s powers undermine our democracy and our capacity to decide over the country we want to be. We need national institutions that are willing to recognise and take up this challenge.
The courage of clear ideas in times of false normality was rewarded, and the biggest contribution for a second-ballot came from Marisa.
The more fool those who want to take the victory by the right-wing candidate as a second-round of the parliamentary elections. In order to win, Marcelo renounced Passos and Portas, practised amnesia over the last government, recognised and acknowledged that ‘shambles’ and promised to promulgate policies that he personally rejects, such as the adoption by same-sex couples and the reestablishment of free abortion. As much as it despairs the right-wing minority, everyone knows that, without this truce, he would never have been elected president.
The political assessment is different. There is no crisis in the left, there’s rebuilding. The vacant space the PS created with its vague stances was occupied by a left-wing with ideas and clear messages. Sampaio da Nóvoa ran a good and important campaign, but he was unable to free himself from contingencies that did not belong to him: the showdown with Maria de Belém and the constant definition of ‘centre’, the natural identity of someone who, like Marcelo, abdicated politics so as not to risk ambiguities.
Regarding the future, there are three certainties. The recently elected President is unpredictable, the hope for the growing left-wing, and the joy for getting rid of the former President Cavaco. When he vetoed the laws for adoption by same-sex couples and the reposition of abortion without humiliation, Cavaco Silva did not worsen his public image because there was no more room for that.
Article published originally in “Jornal de Notícias” on January 26th 2016.
Translated by João Areal for Esquerda.net/English.