Robsonpierrexerife.comElection time is coming for Brazil, and as I feared, the main candidates for presidency hardly bring a lot of confidence for the future. Historically, Brazilians always had to vote in the one that “doesn’t look so bad”, and this is the part that makes me upset: the future of our country is in the hands of candidates that don’t give us that sparkle in the eye. One of the greatest issues with Brazilian politics is that we – and several other countries of Latin America – follow the American model of presidentialism, instead of parlamentarism. What happened is that several countries in Latin America, dreaming of reaching the “utopia” of American Democracy, decided to follow the model of having a president, who has much more autonomy than, say, a prime minister. A parliament is a signal of decentralization of powers, and it’s what works in countries like Canada, United Kingdom, and Japan. Hell, in Germany, the figure of the President is below the figure of the Chancellor.
But the problem does not lie so much in the model as it lies on its players. Every two years, Brazilians are obligated (I mean this: they are obligated) to vote, and their choices are tough. I mean, they really aren't… but only if voters go to the urns without double-thinking about their candidates, almost like election is something that has to be done with. Some vote for the first candidates they hear about; some vote in “funny” candidates, or celebrities that run for offices. Some forget completely the candidates they voted for in the first place. And some others null their votes, either because they don’t identify themselves with any candidate, or because – hilariously enough – they think they are “sticking to the Man”; usually, these are the rebellious youngsters who believe they are breaking away from the norms, when in reality, they are just casting some blank votes. They think they are changing the world, man! Well, they're not gonna do it by voting null (but them, again, neither will I by hanging in DeviantArt).
The incumbent president, Dilma Rousseff, was elected four years ago, being promoted by previous president Lula, whose popularity was unmatched in the history of this country. She was never anything other than a minister in politics, and yet, the nation voted on her because Lula said it so, in a clear signal of the rude ignorance of Brazilians in front of the urns. Dilma would not be a placeholder for Lula to return four years later, but a way for the Worker’s Party to remain in power. So much so that she’s running for reelection, on the card that she’s giving continuity to what Lula started. But the Worker’s Party is proving to be very close to the Orwellian pigs from “Animal Farm”: they arrived promising to work for the people and with the popular interest on mind, but eventually became drunk with power... and they are ready to do anything to stay on power. The one contesting their sovereignty is Marina Silva, from the Brazilian Socialist Party. As Marina grows in popularity, Dilma and her party – the PT – are doing whatever they can to throw mud on her, using Brazilians’ natural misinformation and ignorance to their sides. The PT is proving these days that they are not above lying and defaming to get their goals. And the population, scared from the possibility that Marina will take away governmental supports, starts to drift away from her propositions. It's literally the speech of fear that PT employs.
By Marina’s credentials, she would be very pined to the left… but truth be said, her leftism stops at the fact she’s an environmentalist, and that maybe – just maybe – she’s pro the decriminalization of marijuana. Other than that, her family is one of the richest of the country (a bank family, no less); she’s against abortion even in cases of rape; she is militant against gay marriage, defending that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman because “it’s in the constitution”… when herself wants to change it, by banning the power of reelection and by extending the presidential mandate from four to five years. Marina is by all means an evangelical conservative, and the “socialist” in her credentials is just to appeal to the intellectual mass of the country who had enough with Lula and Dilma.
Dilma’s popularity is wobbly not only because of Brazil’s defeat in this World Cup… and yes: that is a factor, since if the National Team had won, the Cup’s massive costs for the country would "have been worthy", even when in the end, given the massive profits the Cup generated (both morally and economically), they were anyway. She’s also wobbly because, well, she’s not Lula. And Lula had a natural charm towards the people, while Dilma is seen as a woman without a political personality; she’s someone whose function is not to change, but to keep things as they are. PT is outspoken about it: they want to put in everybody’s minds that, as “The Lego Movie” so prophetically declared, everything is awesome, and that their function is to keep things awesome. Things are not: Dilma may not have been a bad president, and she indeed maintained the pace. But eventually, she is a puppet of her party, and she does what is of her superior’s agenda. No, not the senate, and certainly not the People, but her party. She’s not there to change, but to conserve. What an irony: the two main candidates for 2015 are conservative leftists!
The third option is the option of indeed the conservative electorate: Aecio Neves, representing PSDB, which the closest to a GOP that Brazil has. The party of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso – so shamed by PT as the antichrist –, PSDB has dreams of returning to power again, even if they are hardly trustworthy at all. Aecio’s popularity decreases more and more, and a confront between Marina and Dilma seems more eminent: Marina employing a speech filled with gravitas and propositions, while Dilma attacks her merciless. Just last day, I saw a communist manifestation in the city centre: the communists were attacking all the three candidates, since none of them are real within their propositions: leftists that aren’t left, and a guy from a right-wing party filled with moral holes.
But what scares me the most is not just the lack of sparkle in the eyes that these candidates causes; it’s the electorate that wants to vote on those with religious bias, and that will make sure they remain as strong as ever. Dilma, before she run for president, as an anti-religious, pro-abortion, raging atheist that was begging for a fedora over her head; now, she’s Roman Catholic. Marina wants to kick things up some notches and bring her evangelical morals to Brasilia. To make matters more alarming, she’s not the only one; Marcelo Crivella one of the most popular candidates to become governor or Rio de Janeiro: an ultra-evangelical man that would make Reinhard Bonnke jealous. Jair Bonsonaro and Silas Malafaia were originally lambasted by the media for their ultra-religious bias… but the people actually embraced them as heroes, for they would represent their interest, as in the view of some people, a laic State is a morally bankrupt State, and this country needs to suppress its liberalism instead of flourishing it. They want a Christian state.
If your idea of Brazil is that this is a liberal, open-minded country, know now this is BS invented by the media, based on intellectual poles such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Belo Horizonte, with their gay parades and free lifestyles. Brazil as a whole is a very Christian nation, and they find in figures like Bonsonaro and Malafaia support; they see on them people they can lean on their war “to win the country back”. Marina is one of such, although to a lesser extreme. And when a real candidate comes along, proposing secularism and tolerance, he is supported by the intellectuals, but eventually undone by the masses.
What Brazil needs is a man of the people... or a woman of the people (you get it). They need someone who will help the poor to reach the middle classes by investing in education, health and opportunities. Someone who can bring business to Brazil and that will help small companies to grow up, creating less interference for their business. We need a capitalist with a certain sense of socialism, being laic, Libertarian, and whiling to give support to the people, instead of alms like PT, Lula and Dilma did. But this is just my utopic opinion: even if such candidate existed, people would ignore him.
No such luck this year.