It has been 36 years since Brazil returned to a widely competitive electoral system, after roughly two decades of authoritarianism. During the military dictatorship, electoral competition was not completely suppressed, although severely hampered. A symbol of the new democratic era was the return of a multi-partisan system. Multi-partisanship had previously existed during two periods of… Read More »
Opinion August 18, 2018
Belo Monte: there is nothing green or sustainable about mega-dams
There are few dams in the world that capture the imagination as much as Belo Monte, built on the “Big Bend” of the Xingu river in the Brazilian Amazon. Its construction has involved an army of 25,000 people working round the clock since 2011 to excavate over 240 million cubic meters of soil and rock,… Read More »
An underwhelming presidential debate kicks off Brazil’s campaign season
Three weeks before the television and radio campaign ads start, Brazil witnessed the first presidential debate of 2018. With a confusing format and an excessive number of candidates, each presidential hopeful had little screen time to come out of it as a winner. Knowing that, candidates acted more in the way of avoiding blunders, and… Read More »
Who are the candidates for Brazil’s vice president?
With the deadline having passed for political parties to hold their national conventions, we know now who will be on the presidential ballot come election day on October 7 – the only question mark remaining is whether or not former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be allowed to run for a third term.… Read More »
Will Lula be able to run for president?
During its national convention this weekend, the Workers’ Party launched – for the sixth time – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the party’s presidential candidate. In prison since April 7, the former president is still leading all polls, with his voting intentions ranging from 30 to 40 percent. This unlikely union of incarceration and… Read More »
Stigmatization is what Brazil’s far-right candidate seeks
On Monday night, TV Cultura – a public television network owned by the state of São Paulo – broadcasts Roda Viva, one of Brazil’s most traditional talk shows. While the 32-year-old panel debate has relatively low ratings, it still helps set the political agenda. According to the Directory for Public Policy Analysis of think tank… Read More »
A brief history of Brazil’s “centrists” – and why they matter to the election
Italian political scientist Giovanni Sartori once called Brazil “the most anti-partisan country of the world.” That is particularly true today, as dissatisfaction with Brazilian political parties reaches record-setting levels with the electorate blaming corrupt politicians for the recession. But this rejection hasn’t stopped presidential hopefuls from engaging in the active courtship of a group called… Read More »
The Brazilian left and its fetishes
Every now and then – but especially during the campaign season – one subject resurfaces: the way left-leaning parties in Brazil position themselves on authoritarian regimes they identify as “progressive,” “socialist,” or “communist.” Leaders of these parties are often obliged to take a stance on such regimes. Why, many voters ask, do these parties have… Read More »
Why do Britain and America despise Neymar?
Much of the fun of the World Cup is in its narrative. The redemption stories, the against-all-odds comebacks, the clashes between good and evil. Football can become a bit perfunctory when you don’t have anyone to cheer for, or, for that matter, anyone to cheer against. In that vein, the British and North American sports… Read More »
Why Marina Silva will (probably) not win Brazil’s presidential election
On June 10, Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, took to Twitter and showed disbelief about how dismissively political analysts have treated environmentalist presidential candidate Marina Silva, despite her solid poll results. “Is it group-think? Sexism? Her last-minute 2014 collapse?,” asked Mr. Winter. I don’t know any Brazilian political analysts who think Marina can win… Read More »