Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brazil: Send in the clowns…to the legislature

Here in the U.S. one of the most common complaints against politicians is that they act buffoonish like circus clowns. In Brazil, one candidate is taking that saying very seriously.

Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva is a former circus clown turned TV comedian who is running for a seat in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. Though his stage name of “Tiririca” is colonial Portuguese for grumpy, his attitude is anything but as shown in campaign slogans like “it can't get any worse". He could be one of the most popular candidates in Sunday’s elections after using lighthearted ads such as this one:

Even if Oliveira wins he may be prevented from taking office due to his education. A Sao Paulo judge ruled that Oliveira must meet Brazil’s literacy requirement for elected office. A local magazine brought up the possibility of his illiteracy after posing a video where he seemed to have trouble reading.

Oliveira isn’t the only celeb running in Brazil’s elections; retired soccer stars Romario and Bebeto have each vowed to promote youth participation in sports and "invest in high-level programs to train athletes for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.”

In the race for the presidency, meanwhile, ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff may be forced into a runoff. A recent poll showed that her support dipped to 46%, 18 points ahead of rival Jose Serra though lacking the majority she would need to win outright on Sunday.

Online Sources- The Telegraph, YouTube, BBC News, LAHT, Bloomberg

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