losmorris (losmorris) wrote,

Elections in Brazil

October 3rd was the general election in Brazil followed by a presidential run-off for the top 2 candidates. In Brazil, a presidential candidate must get more than 50% of the vote in the first round to win. If not, the top two candidates have another 4 weeks of campaigning - much to the disappointment of the general electorate who must put up with the messiness of the campaign.

So let me just share a little of the flavor of campaigning in another country. The cool thing here is that television ads are limited. One hour each evening is dedicated to political ads and each candidate is allotted time for his/her “infomercial” based on the control their party has in the congress. As a result the leading party candidate had 10-11 minutes for her pitch and the second place candidate had about 8 minutes. The general populace was spared the American version of all-political-ads-all-the-time. Also, presidential candidates must leave their prior positions, if they serve in the government, about 6 months prior to the election to eliminate/reduce the possibility of conflicts of interest.

Signage cannot be posted to walls, poles or otherwise permanently affixed to avoid litter, clutter and unseemly appearance in an otherwise beautiful city (not sure if this is a national, state or city law but I love it). So instead, signs are wheeled around on bicycles, set up and guarded by campaign workers and disappear at the end of the day to return the next day. Once the elections were over, the signs were pretty much gone.

So just a little sampling….
A bicycle chain for a candidate (the party workers had stopped for a rest)

A street rally for the winning candidate

And a Copacabana street rally for the losing candidate

And the candidate himself – we never did see the winner, Dilma Rousseff, up close.


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