Brazil had its presidential elections last Sunday.

It was most interesting as elections all over the world are different from ours.  Brazilians are very passionate about most everything, and it shows.  The two top contenders, Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad have won the first round and will vie again on October 28th.  As of the last count I have seen, Bolsonaro had 46% and Haddad had 29.3%  If Bolsonaro had accumulated anything over 50%, he would have won, but since he didn’t, the run-off takes place.

Now, you have to understand in the US there are usually about 4 different parties.  Republicans, Democrats, Green Party and the Socialist/Communist party.  In reality, it is only the first two.  But in Brazil, I counted 13 different political parties.

Normally I would not pay attention to any of this, but a pretty friend of mine explained to me who stood for what.  I now understand Bolsonaro with his 46% of the votes is the Brazilian “Donald Trump”.  He is far right and promised to “drain the swamp”.  I am convinced he will win on the 28th, but it will take time to see if he can keep his promises.  Brazil has had decades of corruption in its presidency and I cannot believe Bolsonaro will be able to clean house.  It will be an interesting thing to see in the next few years.

A few interesting side notes:

  1. In Brazil, you are required to vote or pay a fine.  My friend told me the fine is about equal to one US dollar.
  2. On the day of the election, no alcohol can be sold.
  3. As with the elections in the US, there is a lot of corruption involving the voting machines.

I will watch this closely, as my friend is very political and shared her interest with me.