This chapter presents a survey of the obstacle-filled course the developments have followed, the nature of the government, major public policy issues, and the most important organized interest’s active in the political arena. Democratic politics has not put a crimp in the dominance of the propertied elements of Brazilian society. Fernando Collor de Mello ‘s priorities included reducing the state's role in Brazil's economic life, curbing government spending, halting the inflationary spiral, attracting new flows of investment and technology, and inserting a rehabilitated and modernized Brazilian economy into the competitive mainstream of international life. Women and Afro-Brazilians were few in the winners' circle—the former totaling but 27 federal deputies and the latter a sparse 11 in the lower house. Round two of the Collor government lacked the dramatic political events to which Brazilians had become accustomed. On January 1, 1995, Cardoso took office under She most propitious circumstances of any Brazilian president.