The Right Gaining Momentum In South and Latin America.

Robert Massimi.

After years of socialism in both Latin and South America, many people are turning to free markets and capitalism to get their countries out of the dull drums. With South and Latin America on the verge of collapse, anarchy abound, people are looking for respite from the everyday tortures that occur in their daily lives. It is no wonder that people are going to vote towards the right to re adjust the disaster that is their lives. With inflation out of control, ramp-id unemployment and no future, people are going to vote far right.

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2018 / 11:29 PM / UPDATED 8 HOURS AGO

Far-right candidate Bolsonaro widens lead in Brazilian presidential race: poll

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro gained ground over his rivals in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election set for Oct. 7, a new poll showed on Thursday, though it remains unclear who he will face in an expected run-off vote on Oct. 28.

FILE Photo: Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro takes a selfie as he attends a rallyin Porto Alegre, Brazil August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Diego Vara

Bolsonaro, who is recovering in hospital from a near-fatal stabbing two weeks ago, is backed by 28 percent of the voters surveyed by polling firm Datafolha, a gain of 2 points since the previous poll a week ago.

The Workers Party’s candidate Fernando Haddad surged into second place with 16 percent of the voters surveyed backing him, a 3 percentage point rise, but he is statistically tied with Ciro Gomes, a center-left populist.

Datafolha surveyed 8,601 voters across Brazil on Sept. 18 to 19. The poll, published by the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Haddad replaced jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the ticket nine days ago.

Gomes’ support remained at 13 percent, according to Datafolha.

With no candidate projected to win a majority in the first ballot, the two best-performing hopefuls will meet in a run-off.

FILE Photo: Presidential candidate Fernando Haddad of Workers Party (PT) attends a rally campaign in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Gomes is the only candidate projected to beat Bolsonaro in a second-round vote, according to the poll.

Gomes, a former Ceará state governor would defeat Bolsonaro with 45 percent of the votes against 39 percent for the right-winger, Datafolha said.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who favors easing gun controls, may have trouble winning a second round race against Haddad as they are tied at 41 percent each, according to Datafolha.

Bolsonaro shot ahead early in the race by tapping the anger of Brazilians fed up with political corruption and rising crime.

The poll indicated that Lula’s strategy of convincing his supporters to vote for Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo, is working well and his stand-in could well reach the second-round vote.

Two-term president Lula was banned from running due to a corruption conviction but he remains Brazil’s most influential politician and his party is could return to power after governing Brazil from 2003 to 2016.

Among the other candidates in the first-round vote, Geraldo Alckmin, a favorite of the country’s business class and a former governor of Sao Paulo, stayed at 9 percent and environmentalist Marina Silva sunk to 7 percent, less than half the support she had the outset of the campaign last month.

The most divisive election since the end of Brazil’s military rule three decades ago has become increasingly polarized between right and left, raising concerns about the future of the country’s democracy.

Bolsonaro, an admirer of Brazil’s 1964 to 1985 military regime, has accused the Workers Party of trying to rig the elections. His running mate retired General Hamilton Mourão has said the armed forces should carry out a coup if the country’s judiciary cannot end political corruption.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Christian Schmollinger

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018 / 11:24 AM / UPDATED 13 HOURS AGO

Divisive Brazil election careens into ‘dangerous’ polarization

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s presidential campaign, already the most divisive since the end of military rule three decades ago, is growing increasingly polarized each day and raising concerns about the future of the country’s democracy.

A combination picture shows (top row L-R) presidential candidates Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad (bottom row L-R) Ciro Gomes and Geraldo Alckmin respectively, from Reuters files. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/Paulo Whitaker/Leonardo Benassatto/Adriano Machado/File Photo

Less than three weeks before the vote, surveys from the Ibope and Datafolha polling firms show the middle has collapsed, with the electorate rejecting any centrist and gravitating to opposite ends of the political spectrum.

On the far right is front-runner Jair Bolsonaro, a retired army captain, who has emerged from a Sept. 6 assassination attempt more radical than ever.

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In a Facebook video, viewed over 7 million times by Wednesday, Bolsonaro said that if he loses the election, it would only be because the leftist Workers Party (PT) had rigged the voting system. That electrified an already tense political landscape.

On the other side, the PT has called the election a fraud because its jailed founder and Brazil’s most popular politician, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has not been allowed to run due to a corruption conviction. The party has made “Free Lula” its rallying cry.

The PT’s stance has stoked concerns among a wide swath of voters, who blame the party for widespread political corruption and fear that if the PT’s candidate, Fernando Haddad, wins he would pardon Lula. Haddad on Tuesday flatly denied he would do that, though he said the former president would be an essential adviser to his government, even from jail.

Lost in the increasingly toxic atmosphere ahead of the Oct. 7 first-round vote is any chance Brazil’s election will unite a deeply split country. That raises the risk that the next government will be paralyzed by infighting and opposition, unable to make headway against the dual economic and political crises facing Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy.

Brazilian electoral workers seal electronic ballot boxes in Brasilia, Brazil September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

“Many thought that by the time we got close to the election, some middle ground would be found, and that is not what we are seeing,” said Monica de Bolle, director of Latin American studies program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Instead, Bolsonaro, 63, is heading to a likely Oct. 28 runoff vote against Haddad, 55, a matchup that polls show is deadlocked. The election has become “very dangerous,” de Bolle said.

That is mainly because Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly praised Brazil’s military regime, and his running mate, Hamilton Mourão, a retired army general, have openly talked “about constraining civil liberties and rewriting the Constitution in a authoritarian way,” de Bolle said.

Mourão has said the armed forces should carry out a coup if the country’s judiciary cannot end political corruption.

“They are not shying away from saying these things openly and they are not being criticized for saying them,” she added.

EASY ANSWERS

Amid rising crime and continued revelations of corruption, the Bolsonaro ticket offers a simple formula for voters. While enticing powerful business sectors with promises of liberal economic policies it offers, above all, to stop the return of Lula’s party and its state-led plans for the economy.

“What I find really surprising is that there is a large segment of the Brazilian population, the elite, the people who should know better, who are basically throwing risk aside and saying ‘you know, I don’t care. I just don’t want the PT back in power,’” de Bolle said.

Slideshow (7 Images)

That is seen in the open arms that influential Brazilian economic groups are offering to Bolsonaro’s team.

On Monday, Mourão, who last week said Brazil’s 1988 Constitution could be re-written without direct input from voters, addressed a luncheon of Sao Paulo business leaders, who interrupted his 40-minute address on several occasions with applause. He again talked about the Constitution, calling it “terrible and outdated” and underscoring “that we need a new one.”

“I consider it the mother of all reforms,” he added.

When asked during a panel discussion if he believed in the democratic process, Mourão said “if I were anti-democratic, I would not be participating in this election. I’d be home polishing my .45 pistol and waiting for better days.”

The line drew laughter from the crowd.

Asked about Bolsonaro’s allegation the PT would try to rig the voting system to win, Mourão said “you have to take into account he is a man who practically died just over a week ago.”

However, Carlos Melo, a political scientist with Insper, a Sao Paulo business school, said Bolsonaro had raised his concern about electoral fraud before and was doing so now as a “preemptive measure … anticipating any defeat so he can question the results.”

“Bolsonaro is a political actor who has never fully supported Brazilian democracy,” Melo said. “His choice of Mourão as a running mate obviously adds another element that puts pressure on our democracy.”

For Sergio Praça, a political scientist at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a leading Brazilian university, the most present danger would be any attempt by Haddad to pardon Lula.

“Until a few days ago, I would have said that any threat against Brazilian democracy was a joke,” he said. “Now, there is a tense vibe. The rhetoric from Bolsonaro’s running mate is highly unusual, it is not normal.

“But what worries me the most is any pardon of Lula. Not because I want to see Lula in prison for a long time, but because it would be a serious blow against the judicial system that would provoke enough support within civil society for a military coup.”

Reporting by Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Writing by Brad Brooks; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Tom Brown

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Author: nobullwithragingrobert

Was a drama critic at Manhattan College. Wrote professionally for Bergen News, Sun Bulletin . Alpha Sigma Lambda, Beta Theta. Has seen over 600 shows worldwide, has published both on Theater and Politics. Avid reader on many subjects and writers. Chief Drama critic for Metropolitan magazine. Writes for Jerrick media, American conservative, The City Journal and Reason magazine. Has produced shows both on and off Broadway.

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