Monday, November 27, 2006

And why not today?

It has been exactly three months since my last post, so I guess it's time. I never wrote about the Brazilian election, but the truth is that the elections were anticlimactic. Lula had an enormous lead in the polls, and it seemed like the opposition just decided to phone it it -- "keeping their powder dry" for 2010, or something. There was maybe, just maybe, a chance to defeat Lula on the first ballot. But the third-placed candidate, Heloísa Helena, represented the PSOL, a party founded by former members of Lula's PT. They are former members because they thought that Lula was taking the Brazil, and the PT, too far to the right. People who voted for Heloísa Helena were voters who were obviously unhappy with Lula, but not voters who could stomach a vote for the neo-liberal PSDB.

Lula was a weak candidate, but his opponent Geraldo Alckmin was weaker still. Alckmin has a weak smile and a lack of charisma, and no natural base. He couldn't beat Lula on the first ballot, and the second ballot was just a formality.

I recently told a friend that had I voted in the election, I would have voted for Lula. He was visibly upset, and told me that everything looks different from the outside, and that it is easy for him to say that were he from the states he would vote for Bush. But that's just ridiculous. He might be anti-Lula, but he isn't stupid.