The intriguing alliance of two former, disgruntled Worker's Party (PT) members could throw a wrench into the delicate calculations for next October's elections in Brazil. If they build a head of steam, could they lead to a more business-friendly Brazil?
Marina Silva and Eduardo Campos had both been staunch supporters of the PT. Silva peeled off earlier, unhappy with the government's stance on the environmental and its inability or unwillingness to shake off corruption. Campos, governor of Pernambuco state, was vigorously supported by his padrinho Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and built a strong base in the Northeast. Perhaps a mixture of hubris/power hunger and genuine 'fed-upness' with Brazil's solidified political system has him testing out the waters for a bid now that Lula is out the picture.
Together this unlikely couple are likely to draw votes from the PT and possibly its arch rival PSDB. Still, the machinery they have at their disposal is limited and they will be fought tooth and nail by both parties and in particular the PT, which gives short shrift to 'traitors'.
The key question is whether they will be able to hammer out a coherent political platform. Campos has not moved that far from his former cohort but is increasingly keen to emphasize a better business environment. Silva has some sympathy with that, but while Campos is a hard-nosed player, Silva has more liberal policies that sit uncomfortably with promoting big business particularly in her defence of the environment (after all, Brazil is a commodity exporter par excellence) and her religious convictions, which make it hard to operate in the cut-and-thrust of Brazilian politics. They will shake up the status quo and enhance the electoral race but it's hard to believe they will not bicker openly and even harder to see them reaching the finishing line. More's the pity.