- Advertisement -

Opinion by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In a remark erroneously attributed to former French President Charles de Gaulle, Brazil, unlike France, “is not a serious country”. When one turns to France today, however, one begins to wonder, for there are striking parallels with Brazil.

Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.
Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.

France’s president, François Hollande, had approval ratings so low he decided not to run for re-election. Brazil’s current president, Michel Temer, has approval ratings almost as dismal, and is not going to run for re-election in 2018.

France will hold the first round of its presidential elections this Sunday, and the candidates run the full gamut of ideologies and idiosyncrasies. There are five major candidates, four of whom, as of this writing, are technically tied for the lead in opinion polls. There is a right wingnut, a left wingnut, a traditional pol investigated for nepotism, an environmentalist, and a middle of the road businessman whom nobody had heard of six months ago.

In Brazil, although the presidential elections won’t be held till October 2018, there are already five major candidates being touted by their supporters. There is a right wingnut (Bolsonaro) a left wingnut (Ciro Gomes) a traditional pol under investigation (Lula), an environmentalist (Marina Silva) and a middle of the road businessman whom nobody had heard about until last year (João Dória).

What most of the French candidates have in common is that they’re currently outsiders, members of non-traditional political parties, and none of them, save Fillon who hired his wife for a non-existent job, has been tarred by the brush of corruption.

What most of the Brazilian candidates have in common is that they’re currently outsiders, members of non-traditional political parties, and none of them, save Lula who masterminded the Mensalão, has been tarred by the brush of corruption.

France may be a serious country, and its people no longer trust traditional politicians, parties and policies. Brazil may not be a serious country, but its people no longer trust traditional politicians, parties and policies.

French voters want a change from the post-De Gaulle governments. Brazilian voters want a change from the post-military governments. This desire reflects something De Gaulle did in fact say: “politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.”

- Advertisement -
SHARE
Previous articleRio Nightlife Guide for Monday, April 17, 2017
Next articleRio’s Vasco Wins 2017 Taça Rio Over Botafogo, 2×0
The Curmudgeon moved to Rio almost forty years ago, and has pretty much remained here ever since. He's been writing political commentary for The Rio Times for almost seven years. He used to refer to himself as a WASP (look it up) but doesn't any more because it embarrasses him.

1 COMMENT

  1. Soooooo…. Where did this “not a serious country” quote come from? Googled: it’s attributed to Carlos Alves de Souza during the lobster war (please Google that for an entertaining few minutes). Many references are to DeGaulle…

    The “country of the future and always will be” seems to come from Stefan Zweig.

    Please add to this – anyone!

LEAVE A REPLY

4 × 4 =