In recent weeks, center-right presidential hopeful Geraldo Alckmin began asking voters to become more pragmatic when choosing their candidate. He would be, in his opinion, the best option for those who would hate to see four years of the Workers’ Party in government, but who think far-right Jair Bolsonaro is too radical and unprepared. In… Read More »
Democracy September 25, 2018
Explaining Brazil #29: The state of Brazilian democracy
Our podcast is also available on: The state of Brazilian democracy Since 2013, Brazil has lived under continuous political turmoil. First, a wave of protests swept the country, showing the political establishment just how much Brazilians wanted to change. In the following year, the Federal Police launched Operation Car Wash – which evolved into the… Read More »
Why has support for Operation Car Wash reached an all-time low?
With 52 phases, 2,476 criminal proceedings, 175 plea bargain agreements, 204 convictions, BRL 38.1 billion in restitution requests and a Netflix series, Operation Car Wash is the biggest corruption investigation in the history of Brazil, Latin America, and quite possibly the world. In the four years since its inception, Operation Car Wash has gathered significant… Read More »
Why is racism a marginal topic in Brazilian presidential politics?
A Brazilian cosmetics company decides to air a Father’s Day commercial displaying a goofy dad playing with his kids, having dinner with his family and saying that being a father is sometimes hard but worth the effort. It’s the sort of fictional ad that has been produced countless times throughout the world. Except that this… Read More »
Will Brazil’s 2018 election end a 24-year duopoly?
Brazil has had seven presidential elections since its return to democracy. In six of them, both the winner and the runner-up came from two parties: the Workers’ Party and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). Will 2018 be the year this duopoly ends? And if so, why? Brazil has 35 political parties, so such a… Read More »
Lula and Jair Bolsonaro: the popular and the populist
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been called a populist on many occasions. The use of this term comes from a number of reasons. Firstly, Lula is a charismatic leader. It is not uncommon to see charismatic leaders dubbed as “populists,” even though populism is not connected to charisma. Secondly, Lula is a… Read More »
A military wave in Brazilian politics? Not so fast…
When Brazilian voters head to the polls on October 7, they will face an unprecedented situation: two military presidential candidates on the same ballot – former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro and Firefighter Cabo Daciolo (“cabo” means corporal, in Portuguese. In Brazil, the fire department is considered a branch of the military). The last time the… Read More »
Brazilian gubernatorial elections remain wide open
With all of the buzz surrounding the presidential election, it is easy to forget that the Brazilian electorate will be casting six votes come Election Day on October 7. Besides casting ballots for the next president, Brazil will also elect federal and state lawmakers, senators, and governors. And it is this latter race which could… Read More »
The military presence in Brazil’s 2018 election
Retired Army General Hamilton Mourão rose to fame last year, after defending a military coup if Brazil’s Justice system failed to punish corrupt politicians. Now, he is a vice presidential nominee, running alongside far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro – another former member of the Brazilian Armed Forces. They are part of a growing phenomenon in Brazil:… Read More »
Brazil’s recurring phenomenon of joke candidates
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 »