To declare that the electorate is now "divided" implies that it was previously "united." This, to say the least, is a strange way of describing what has historically been one of the most unequal countries in the entire world.
With Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff now facing Aécio Neves in the second round of elections on October 26, much of the discussion is focusing on economic issues. These are often badly reported and widely misunderstood, so a review of some of the major issues is in order.
Stating the obvious can have its merits, so I'll risk the inevitable criticism for stating the obvious: Two women, one white, one black, are the top contenders for the presidency of one of the world's largest democracies.
Brazil faces incredible odds as it seeks to join the more affluent developed nations. Rousseff will promote greater infrastructure sorely needed given the lack of basic sanitation many areas of the country.
There is no doubt that Lula has changed Brazil's foreign policy and has joined with other left-of-center Latin American leaders in bringing about historic changes in the region. Now, Brazil's election will resonate far beyond its borders.
In the set of developing countries, Brazil is relatively privileged. It can stand up to the U.S. and get away with it. Some poor country in Africa might not be able to do the same -- privilege creates responsibility.