Against the mass destruction vote

Image: Zeeshaan Shabbir
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By ARACY PS BALBANI*

Brazilians' political culture is going bad and it is reflected dramatically during the elections

An image of unknown origin is circulating on WhatsApp with the words: “The biggest public competition in the world will be in Brazil in November. Almost six thousand vacancies for mayor and almost 60 thousand for councilors. CV: unnecessary. Cultural quality: none. Moral quality: dispensable. Salary: excellent, but with the possibility of being multiplied several times. Working hours: free and little.”

This gross misinformation “frequently forwarded” is worrying. For starters, because the first and second rounds of the 2024 municipal elections are scheduled for October. Furthermore, it ignores electoral legislation, in which, among other essential requirements for eligibility, are: literacy, and a minimum age of 18 and 21 for candidates for councilor and mayor respectively. And the obvious: good moral conduct is required from the candidate. For example, anyone who is excluded from professional practice for committing an ethical-professional infraction is ineligible.

It is intriguing that educated and well-connected people believe this kind of misinformation and relay it. Perhaps the Superior Electoral Court's campaign to inform the population against the release of mass messages containing untruths about the electoral process needs to be much more incisive.

The fact is that Brazilians' political culture is going bad. Many candidacies support fair causes such as defending the rights of people with disabilities or animals. However, the performance of some of those elected to the Legislative and Executive branches on these issues is a fiasco. After all, organizing, as a civil society volunteer, charity bazaars and feijoadas for the benefit of needy visually impaired people or abandoned animals is very different from acting in an elected position. It's one thing to have experience with roasting suckling casserole; another is to pass through Carolina de Sá Leitão.

Many candidates have a university degree, but have no idea of ​​constitutional and administrative law. In the absence of training for public management and minimally competent assistance, they put their foot down and destroy public administration. Those who pay the price, as always, are the people. The dismantling of public health, education and security by those who hold political power in a representative democracy signals that a vote given without a well-informed and conscious choice can have the effect of mass destruction.

Our electorate is truly surprising. It oscillates between the stupidity of electing bizarre newcomers without any political project, whose names on the ballot box we don't know whether to laugh or cry, and choosing traditional local politicians, who have been moldy for decades.

Possibly, one of the greatest threats to the democratic rule of law and our freedom is the election of candidates terribly committed to conservative ideas and fundamentalist religious ideals.

Let us not forget the example of Daniel François Malan (1874-1959), who obtained a doctorate in divinity at the University of Utrecht, was a religious pastor, had a prominent university position, but went down in history as the prime minister who implemented the regime of apartheid in South Africa, formalizing racial segregation that lasted 46 years and plunged the country into violence.

*Aracy PS Balbani She is an otorhinolaryngologist. She works as a specialist exclusively in the SUS assistance area in the interior of São Paulo.

References


Superior Electoral Court. 2024 elections: check who can be a candidate for mayor or councilor: https://www.tse.jus.br/comunicacao/noticias/2024/Marco/eleicoes-2024-confira-quem-pode-ser-candidato-a-prefeito-ou-a-vereador

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