Brazilian politics is full of folkloric characters which my international friends need to learn about it. Even though Brazil is a young democracy we already elected every type of person… extreme left, extreme right, church evangelicals, football players and most recently a clown (the clown was the most voted in Brazil´s last election).
For people who were alive in the 90´s, one of the most folkloric of these politicians is Mr. Enéas Carneiro. Mr. Enéas was born in 1938 and was a cardiologist. He died of cancer in 2007. His political career started by the top in 1989 when he founded his own party, the PRONA (Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order), and decided to run for president of the republic. The party political views were right wing, which some describe as nationalist. He claimed that Brazil needed the atomic bomb in order to be respected.
When Mr. Enéas ran for the first time to president I was 10 years old. I don´t remember a lot of things of when I was 10 years old, but I do remember him on the TV shouting like a crazy dog! In Brazil there is a mandatory free TV time for candidates before the election. This time is allocated according to the previous results. The PRONA had no representatives in the legislative chamber, meaning that they were allocated the minimum 15 seconds.
This is what he did in 15 seconds (language is not important hahaha)
All his TV appearances would end with him shouting “Meu nome é Enéas” – “My name is Enéas”
This approach gave him 360 thousand votes. He was the 12th most voted candidate in the election.
In 1994 he ran again, and this time he was given 1 minute of time. He managed to receive 4.6 million votes and was the 3rd most voted candidate to President of Brazil.
In 1998 he decided to run for a position in the legislative chamber and received 1.5 million votes. That is the biggest vote ever in Brazilian history for a candidate running to the legislative chamber.
The point here is that people who were voting in Mr. Enéas were mostly not right wing or nationalist. They were voting in his anarchic image, his screaming and unusual looks. This is quite common in Brazilian politics where underdogs that make no sense to be elected receive a huge amount of protest votes. These votes are not for the person who was voted on, but against everyone else. It is important to note that in Brazil voting is mandatory and if you don´t vote you will be unable to do a lot of bureaucratic things until paying a heft fine of 6 reais (around 3 euro).
Some other day I will talk about the clown that was elected last year…