Opinion

Jair Bolsonaro’s rise a portrait of strange times in Brazil

extreme ultra-conservative wave brazil bolsonaro 2018 election
Brazil under an ultra-conservative wave?

Forecasts made by political scientists seem to be even less accurate than those by weather reporters. And, as global warming has produced new, hard-to-predict effects, so has the rising radicalization of Brazil’s political environment. It has altered how voters choose their candidates, stripping pundits of any premonitory capacity.

The bipartisan dominance of the Workers’ Party and Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) over the past six presidential races made most political scientists expect more of the same. We were also wrong about the weight of television and radio political ads, thinking they would be as powerful as...

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