Brazil’s Presidential Run 2010 – Pt.1

The Brazilian presidential election is starting to heat up, and it’s with great joy that I announce this: out of the three main candidates to President of Brazil, two are women.  I will present them in different posts. Today I’ll introduce you to Marina Silva.

Marina Silva (@silva_marina, PV – Green Party) was the first to officially register her candidacy with the Electoral Supreme Court. Marina’s vice-president is Guilherme Leal,  co-founder and director of  Natura, a Brazilian (and Latin American) cosmetics giant. Leal also takes part in the Brazilian WWF, Funbio (Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity), Abrinq Foundation and Arapyau Institute (an organization for education and sustainable development).

Marina is currently a Senator for the state of Acre, in the Amazon. She used as well to be President Lula’s Environment Minister. She left PT (Worker’s Party) to join the Green Party as she strongly disapproved Lula’s environmental and agrarian reform policies. A child of the Amazon, born in poverty and victim childhood labor, Marina learned to read only when she was 18 years old, and was persistent enough with studying to get a college degree in History and post-graduation. She’s a winner, a hard working exemplary Brazilian citizen.

Marina Silva has conservative opinions about gay marriage and abortion (which is illegal in Brazil). She is a religious person, nearly became a nun. Her statements about creationism and teaching religion in schools have been a recurrent cause of embarrassment, as reporters and TV anchors love to misquote her by making out of context citations.  It’s an irony that her vice-president is the owner of the biggest cosmetics company in Latin America: Marina Silva wears zero make-up. “I’m too allergic”, she says. Religion again was the cause of a recent Twitter polemic involving her followers, when Marina’s tweets about José Saramago‘s death were largely misinterpreted.

Make no mistakes though: her religiousness doesen’t get in the way of her politics. She’s no zealot. In Brazil religion and politics don’t mix. The easiest way to lose an election in Brazil is if you appeal strongly to religion. The latest polls indicate her popularity is growing, and she went from 8% to 10% of vote intentions. Two percent means a lot for the underdog with a low budget and virtually zero space in the media, when compared to the main opponents. Dilma Rousseff (PT) and José Serra (PMDB), the topdogs, lead the polls technically tied, with percentages that vary from 34% to 40% of votes (for both of them). Debates have yet to take place, but it’s likely that Marina will be present since her candidacy has been gaining popularity.

Official website:

  • A very inspiring person! A shame about her stance on abortion and gay rights, but one or two issues do not make a candidate (or at least they shouldn't, but certainly up here there are far too many people who would vote or not for someone purely on those two issues alone). Personally, I'd be inclined to vote for a GP candidate despite those two stances depending, of course, on the other candidates and what I felt was most important for the country at the time.

    Looking forward to the next two!

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