Thursday, November 03, 2016

Rio goes for a bishop


We’ve posted a few things about the corruption crisis in Brazil, from the impeachment and replacement of a president to more and more disenchantment with the political class. It’s amazing how talking to a Brazilian these days is like chatting with someone at a Trump rally.   
So is it any surprise that a evangelical bishop was elected as mayor of Rio de Janeiro?    
This is the amazing story:
An evangelical bishop has been elected mayor of Rio de Janeiro, as rightwing candidates across Brazil strengthened their influence at the expense of a decimated Workers’ party.
Despite his past condemnation of Catholics and homosexuals, Marcelo Crivella of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God won control of the city in a second round of municipal elections that underscored the rise of religious conservatism and the demise of the leftwing party that has dominated national politics for more than a decade.
My friends in Brazil tell me that his election, and specially the rise of a Christian right, is the direct result of the corruption in the left. It does not help that a crushing recession occurred during the left’s watch!     
Rio is a metropolitan area with a population of over 6 million people, the third largest city of South America and the 6th largest in Latin America.      
The results in Rio follow other gains by right-wing parties in Argentina and Chile. In other words, something is happening in Latin America as more voters reject the left.
It also reflects the persistence of the Christian right as a political force. They’ve been working door to door telling people to put their faith in God rather than a political party. Furthermore, they’ve associated the collapse of the country with a breakdown in moral standards. They are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Will it last? I guess that it depends on the economy and the honesty of the newly elected leaders. At the same time, this is a dynamic new chapter in Latin America because it is from the bottom up!
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