March on Brasília when?
The political establishment continues to crumble in Brazil as Fernando Haddad the PT’s candidate has been hit with new corruption charges:
“Fernando Haddad, running in place of Lula for the Workers’ Party (PT), has little popular support and faces corruption accusations himself. Polling suggests that if Lula isn’t on the ballot, 30 percent of his supporters will defect to other candidates while 40 percent will cast a blank ballot. Brazilians consistently cite corruption as the most important problem in the country, and parties across the board have changed their names to escape public exasperation with the existing party system.
4. A nontraditional candidate could step into the vacuum
As a result, many voters perceive outsiders as untainted. On the left, environmentalist Marina Silva is running for her recently created Sustainability Network party (REDE); some polls show her with double-digit support.
More significantly, voters are turning toward far-right candidates. Why? Many Brazilians are ambivalent about democracy: Half are open to some form of authoritarian rule. Brazil’s military regime (1964-1985) was comparatively less repressive than those of its neighbors. During that time, GDP averaged an annual growth rate of 6.2 percent. Many voters are now nostalgic for days when the streets were safer. Public confidence in the military is strong, generals have been talking openly about military intervention, and at least 90 candidates linked to the armed forces are running for public office in the upcoming elections.
Among those is presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party, a former army captain who has openly promised a return to military rule if elected. Likened to President Trump, Bolsonaro has been criticized for disparaging comments against women, the LGBT community, ethnic minorities and foreigners. As a leader of a political coalition that joins the security forces, agribusiness and evangelicals — the so-called bullet, beef and Bible caucus — Bolsonaro may benefit from the traditional parties’ collapse and Lula’s loss at the tribunal. …”
6. Expect chaos in October
Weak parties, a shaky economy, and rising crime and violence in Brazil mean that it’s hardly surprising that nontraditional politicians on the left and right are doing well so far. In head-to-head matchups with other candidates, for example, Bolsonaro outpolls each of his potential rivals. With Lula off the ballot, expect more turmoil from Brazil’s already chaotic political environment.
Bolsonaro is leading his rivals in both the first round and head-to-head match ups in the run off. This is someone who literally punches his enemies.
“Every major democracy has its share of hateful bigots and cretins among its elected officials – the U.S. has had more than its fair share – but Bolsonaro is a unique national disgrace. He has a long history of revolting racism, homophobia and other assorted forms of bigotry to be expected of an admirer of military dictatorship.
In 2011, he said in an interview that he’d prefer that his son die in a car accident than be gay. In this 90-second excerpt from an interview by the BBC’s Stephen Fry, he responds to Fry’s referencing of the murder of gay Brazilian teens and frequent anti-gay attacks by stating that “there is no homophobia in Brazil,” claiming that 90% of the gay victims die in “places of drug use and prostitution or are killed by their own partner.” He added that the LGBT movement is really about converting Brazilian children into homosexuality for future sexual recruiting.
The same year, during an appearance on a television program, he was asked by a famous Afro-Brazilian actress, Preta Gil, what he would do if his son fell in love with a black woman, and he bizarrely replied: “I am not going to discuss promiscuity.” He then added that he doesn’t run that risk because his sons “are very well raised,” telling the actress that they “don’t live in the type of environment that you unfortunately do.”
After a female senator from the left-wing PSOL party (which includes prominent gay Congressman Jean Wyllys) requested that he be investigated, Bolsonaro said PSOL was a “party of dicks and faggots.” He added that he would respond to her “with toilet paper,” asked with mock sensitivity if he “injured her femininity,” and said she’s not like most Brazilian women. When a female television reporter earlier this year asked him about the investigation of the dictatorship, he screamed that she was an “uneducated idiot” and told her that she was not permitted to speak further. When President Rousseff advocated a program to teach school children to respect gays, he strongly suggested it was because she is a lesbian (“stop lying,” he said on the floor of Congress, and “admit your love with homosexuals”). Last year, he called the Minister for Women’s Policy, Eleonora Menicucci, a “big dyke.”
We need to get the League of the South page translated into Portuguese. As early as next year, we could be seeing communists getting thrown out of helicopters again.
Note: As in the United States, few Brazilians trust the fake news media.