Opinion: Brazil’s BBB and Voting Blocs – Bolsonaro’s Challenge

In this institutional structure, where the political party bosses control who can be a candidate, the prime loyalty of legislators is to the party bosses, not to voters in a specific constituency.

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Fear not, gentle reader — the BBB in the headline is NOT about Brazilian broadcasting’s bowdlerized debauchery.  Rather, it stands for Bancada do Boi, da Bala e da Biblia. The term, coined in 2015, describes powerful cross-party voting blocs in Brazil’s Congress.

Bancada” literally means “bench”, upon which members of parliament (“benchers”) sit. US terminology varies (farm bloc, Black Caucus, gun lobby). The Curmudgeon will stick with Bloc, the alliterative Plan B.

Boi, Bala e Bíblia” are literally “beef, bullets and bible”. “Beef . . .

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