If I were a betting man, I would put a tenner on Dilma to win this year’s election. This has nothing to do with merit, and everything to do with the fact that the majority in Brazil remain largely uneducated and uninspired. They know the score – like Rab C. Nesbitt, they fully understand that they are ‘the scum’, to be rightly treated like cattle by their economic superiors (i.e. anyone with a half-decent income).
They may not tell you so openly, but the vast majority secretly believe that at the top of the pile (the real scum, buoyed on their bags of stolen money) are those who deserve to be there, because they are smart enough to lie and steal and cheat better. There is no hope for the average voter, and the scum know it. So of course if they see anyone tossing scraps in their direction, they’ll run like lambs to the slaughter to grovel in the mud before them. The PT (the Worker’s Party) understood this, and set up its long reign of power by doling out a bit of cash to the poorest of the poor. It may have mismanaged the economy to a standstill, but it can still crow about the pearls it once cast before the swine.
So, while there may be no reason to vote the current lot back into power, the memories of those extra pennies are still fresh in the minds of the poor (the party propaganda machine has made sure of that). Some of the more enlightened in the population may hope, but the reality is that no amount of skill, ability, integrity, honesty, intelligence or any other virtue possessed by any of the parties or politicians will influence the vote by one iota.
Some say the people get the government they deserve, but on the other hand someone once observed that ‘if voting really made a difference they’d make it illegal’. The true problem is perhaps that Brazil is, in a very real sense, a villainocracy. And what on earth do you do about that?
Answers on a postcard please, to Shep at Blue Peter…