Sunday, 19 September 2010

I Vote For Cartwheels and Puppies

Since writing my initial dummies guide to Brazil's Presidential candidates, I have become totally addicted to the TV ads for the state and federal deputies who will also be elected on the October 3rd.  Once the free hour of political propaganda comes on after the news, I just cannot turn away.  It's like watching a plane falling out of the sky, but funnier.

Since each party has many candidates, each gets a teeny weeny slice of airtime:  Lucky ones have ten seconds to sell themselves but some only have two.   That's two seconds to say their name, their voting number and to convince the population that they are the best person for the job.  Two seconds.  That's some elevator pitch.

Of course, it's almost impossible to say anything sensible in two or five or even ten seconds, so most don't even try.  Instead, they employ a whole range of desperation tactics in an attempt to be memorable:

The ones who lack imagination just talk like a blender on high speed, trying to cram everything in so fast that the mandatory subtitles across the bottom of the screen are just blur.  It's totally futile trying to follow unless you have some slow-mo playback mode on your TV.  

This being Brazil, the musical approach is also a biggie: If the candidate can sing his or her name and number, preferably samba-style, they're onto a winner.  Actually, this is a massive trend also for the the prospective governers and presidents too.  There's a few genius composers out there that must specilize in creating these annoyingly catchy jingles and songs that I've had stuck in my head all week.

Then there are also some key words: If the Rio candidates can mention the 'baixada fluminense' (the greater Rio 'burbs) then I guess they count on receiving the popular vote.  I think that one of the candidates just said 'capoeira'.  Yeah cool, he gets my vote because I'm a capoierista, but what on earth does he stand for?  Cartwheels?

The prize for most ridiculous vote-whoring tactic goes to the couple (and I'm not sure who was actually the candidate) who were holding a kitten and puppy.  Aaaaahhhh...everybody loves a kitten or a puppy.  How can they not win?

Finally, the candidate who encapsulates the ridiculousness of the whole thing is one that in all seriousness looks set to receive more votes than any other in Brazil for deputado federal;  Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva.  An actor whose well-known persona is Tiririca, a clown, he appears in character, appealing for votes with the line  'Do you know what a deputado federal does?  Me neither.  Vote for me and let's find out" 

Democracy can be scary!


  1. LOL! Awesome! I honestly don't know who made the most convincing argument, the fat man in the striped dress or the Victoria Secret model in a corset.

    My husband was emailed an anti-PT add. I was only half listening from across the room but I'm pretty sure PT was being accused of bringing about the apocalypse. Between the foreboding male voice, horror movie soundtrack and occasional sound of gun fire, it seems electing Dilma will unleash a wave of PT zombies on Brazil.

    Honestly, I prefer the catchy jingles.


    Oh lord, What was with the girl with the enormous breasts??? Beijos por todos????

    How about the woman who was undeniably ANGRY and really just scolded us all to vote for her??

    Ahhhh I love it...