So lots of people have opinions about election day (last Sunday October 3rd). Mine are not very well educated, though I have read lots and lots and lots about how things work here and I went with Sidnei just to kind of take a look and see how the people were taking in the experience. Here is my take.
First off, let's get all the negative hubabaloo out of the way. I am SO GLAD, elections are over (for the most part anyway...for those that don't know, we will have a second round for the presidency on october 31st..then we will be done..hopefully). The couple of months leading up to the elections are little pieces of papers, cars with speakers playing loud jingles for cadidates which usually consist of repeating numbers over and over so that they stick in your head and won't go away. ALL of the marketing, advertising that go into the elections make me sick. The amount of paper wasted makes me ill. The streets are littered every day for two months. My mailbox was full every day for two months. And all of it went into the trash. And that is nothing compared to how the streets look the day of elections.
The second thing is...WHY???!??? Why Sao Paulo, why would you elect a clown to be your congressman? How embarassing. That is all I have to say about that.
I really enjoyed the day of elections. I was really impressed with the people who did take the elections seriously. Another side note, is here in Brazil voting is mandatory by law. Which I honestly think is great. If you don't vote then you have to pay I a small fee...I think it's 5 reais..about $2.80 give or take...(though with dollar continually falling its probably more on the give side) Anyway I really enjoyed seeing SO MANY people voting. It was madness. Especially in the morning there were LOTS of people. We opted to come back later in the afternoon when it was not so full and it was still busy!
And last but not least, my preference was Marina Silva for President who is part of the Green Party (you know, going against my whole family...arguing politics in another language? HARD..not suggested). I was really surprised and happy she did so well. She didn't win, but she gained almost 20% of the vote..and to me that means people are really stepping outside of the 2 popular parties and are really participating and thinking about who they want to run this country.
Democracy is still very new in Brazil! It's actually younger than I am (founded in 1988 and I was born in '84)! I really enjoyed watching people being able to participate in something that they are truly grateful for. The system is not perfect. People are still learning to trust it and still need to learn that they CAN make a difference. But they are getting there. Let's see what happens on October 31st!
2 hours ago