2018 Elections - The Backstory
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
The 2018 Brazilian presidential elections: What can be said about them? After a long year of campaigning, debating, and continuous investigations on the candidates, we are fast approaching Election Day. With this in mind, I’ve put together a little bit to get you thinking before you cast your vote the big day.
A small disclaimer before I continue is that this article reflects the opinions of its author and may not coincide with those of the St. Francis Post and all its members.
Since President Donald Trump was elected in the United States in 2016, world politics have been re-shaped. From long-lasting alliances being put to the test, to new accords being written amongst nations, a wave of uncertainty has become ever so clear everywhere. Following Mr Trump, France elected Emmanuel Macron, another right-wing Politician. This was a drastic shift in policies from the previous socialist representative, François Hollande who left the government in May 2017.
Prior to the French elections, Britain held their own vote casting event, where citizens were to vote on Brexit (“term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union” - Dictionary.com). The results were a surprising 51.9% in favour of the United Kingdom’s separation from the EU, which has been installed since 1993.
However, how do all these seemingly sporadic events with no tie to each other help you better understand the Brazilian elections? For years, world politics and international relations have been at a relative standstill. World leaders such as President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel have become the face of forward-thinking governments. Yet, in the midst of all these changes, Brazil appears to be ever so distant from the public’s eye.
For Brazilians, the past three years have been a whirlwind; from Ms Rousseff’s impeachment, Michel Temer’s two-year term and Lula’s arrestment to the public’s ongoing battle with corruption, troubles at home have encompassed every aspect of people’s daily life, making it difficult for Brazilians to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. It is at this moment that we turn our eyes to the rest of the world, looking for external influence to guide our decisions. However, what we see are extreme leaders that seem to concur with isolationist policies and act against immigration; beliefs that have recently also surfaced in Brazil in the form Jair Bolsonaro.
The Presidential candidate promises to lead a Liberal Democrat government with an insight in security, health and education. Bolsonaro has been the source of several debates with the people as he wishes to completely remodel the Ministry of Culture and eradicate its financing law, the Rouanet Law. He also wishes to pass a new law legalising the possession of guns and firearms.
When faced with the important decision of selecting what little numbers you will insert on the ballot on October 7th, look for candidates that best reflect who you are, your interests and who promises the brightest future for your country. Now, I (your writer) will be voting this year and I have for so many hours sat to think about which candidate means that to me. The truth lies in the fact that none of the candidates promise anything concrete. With the current state of the government, the lack of preparation of every single representative and the way these elections have divided the people instead of setting a united front of voters seeking change, there seems to be no place for Brazil in its own political sphere.
The past 500 years of corrupt politics and institutions have left an imprint in Brazil that we have yet to erase. 2018 might be coming to an end but it won’t be in the next four years that we can change the country. In fact, it is your voice, my reader, that can be the future of the next elections, the ones who can be the next wave of candidates, the ones who can fight for more, fight for what’s right and fight for the future of your country.
So next time you can’t decide who to vote for, be conscious of the candidates, find your voice and become politicized. Active citizens are only the first step to attaining the changes we all wish to see.