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António Costa is by far the best Portuguese politician?

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António Costa é, de longe, o melhor político português?

















António Silva Carvalho

It has become almost certain, even among observers with no sympathy for socialist ideologies (such as José Miguel Hudice or João Miguel Tavares), that the current prime minister and leader of the PS is without a shadow of a doubt “the best national politician of his generations.”

Now I, who do not agree with this statement – although I tend to almost always join the political positions of the two above-mentioned analysts – ask: what is it and what is expected of a very good politician?

Unless there is evidence to the contrary, “everyone” expects a very good politician/governor to be able to find and implement the best solution to the country’s biggest problems; that he is able to anticipate and prevent the greatest collective dramas, difficulties and setbacks that the Portuguese and our companies will have to face in the short, medium and long term; who has the vision and the ability to prepare the country in the best possible way so that it can support itself at the international level, taking into account the global challenges of the world today and in the foreseeable future.

Well, in my opinion, and from what we’ve seen since António Costa (AC) became ruler, he has never shown evidence of being capable of any of what was said above – quite the contrary.

In fact, he has proven to be a great propagandist for himself and for the PS, but always with the (usually deceptive) goal of persuading the Portuguese to vote for what he says. And in this respect, he has achieved tremendous success, to such an extent that in the last legislative elections, as you know, he received an absolute majority.

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However, as to what was really important or vital to the Portuguese, especially to the most disadvantaged, not only was almost everything left unresolved, but there was a progressive deterioration of the situation in the country, both in absolute and relative terms. terms in space.

Both in finance and economy (stagnation, impoverishment, huge debt), as well as in health (almost nothing really works on social networks), in justice, in education, in so-called infrastructure, in housing, in internal management (example : rural fires), etc., etc., we see more and more serious national problems accumulating for which no good or reasonable solutions have been found.

It is clear that the AU is not responsible for the criminal war that Putin decided to impose on Ukraine and the West / NATO, nor is it responsible for the catastrophic consequences that global climate change is increasingly bringing to Portugal and the world. But, for example, have any concrete initiatives already been taken to prepare the country to “experience” the extreme drought that is already affecting, sometimes dramatically, most of our territory? Has it ever occurred to you, in particular, the need to desalinate sea water? And what about the creation of biomass plants, when will they be implemented?

I know perfectly well that running a country today has become a much more complex and challenging task than it was, say, 20 or 30 years ago. This is what requires (or rather requires) teams made up of people far more gifted, trained and capable than in the past. And I have the impression that, unfortunately, in our country, most people involved in political activities are not the best, but the least gifted and capable, precisely because they blindly agree to obey the leader of the party.

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Therefore, when people say that the AU is “a much better politician than everyone else,” what they really mean is that, despite being unable to solve most of the country’s problems, it is much more skillful and convincing in obtaining votes, and also manipulate the media in their favor, which has a decisive effect.

When I was young and there was a dictatorship here, I think most people were astute enough to distinguish good politicians from “snake oil salesmen” as they were then called.

Now, despite the fact that we live in a democracy and with freedom of speech, it seems to me that the Portuguese are becoming more and more ready to be deceived by any demagogue.

Despite the relatively unfavorable assessment I give António Costa as a ruler and prime minister, if you ask me how do I compare him to Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Nicolás Maduro or other world famous leaders of the same caliber? I would say that, without a doubt, I consider him much better or less bad than any of the political leaders mentioned, which means that I am not a hostage to any party ideology, whether left or right. I have merely expressed my personal opinion of a certain political hero who, after Salazar, wields (and exercises) the most power in nearly every aspect of national life—expressed and unspoken.

July 22, 2022

Antonio Silva Carvalho



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Rodrigo Alvarez starts work on the Brazilian political scenario in El Salvador

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Bnews

Journalist and writer Rodrigo Alvarez presented on Thursday evening (18) in El Salvador his new book The Candidate is a Modern Satire. Shortly before the event, which took place at the LDM bookstore, Shopping Bela Vista, Alvarez spoke to bnews and told a little about the process of creating the work.

“The book was born in the last election, in 2018. When the results of the elections became known, I realized that there would be big changes in Brazil, that everything would be completely different, I confess, I was worried about what would happen next. and shortly after that, I came up with the idea of ​​a character that goes back to the military dictatorship, at a time when everything seemed to be going well in Brazil, everything was going very well, and the story began to take shape there, about four years ago, the character, which goes back to 1958 and ended up writing the book that way,” he said.

Alvarez says that the events of recent years have been waiting for the book. “Now recently, at the beginning of the year, at a slightly faster pace than usual, because I wanted to wait for something to happen so that the elections come closer. The book tells the story of a man from Paraiba who goes back in time and begins to live in Brazil, which seemed like a dream. Immediately after that, the book draws a parallel between the Brazil of the 50s and 60s and the Brazil of today. , which is a parallel drawn by humans.”

Blocked by Bolsonaro

Last Wednesday (17) the writer shared with his followers that he was blocked by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). Asked by our reporter if the book was the reason, Alvarez replied that it was implied.

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“Since I never made any offense to President Bolsonaro, I can only understand that it was because of the book, because the book is very critical of the current government, the main character is very worried about everything that happens, all these attacks. about democracy., then President Bolsonaro, who does not like journalism or journalists (…). He does not like being filmed when he does not want to, he has authoritarianism inside, it seems to me that he does not like literature, especially free literature, all types of art are a means of self-expression, politics, authoritarian leaders do not like freedom of speech, self-expression, I I think that’s why Bolsonaro blocked me on the Internet, because he doesn’t want to know what I write, and he doesn’t want me to see what he writes,” he concluded.

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The guest list for Moraes’ TSE inauguration has political resonance.

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published on 18.08.2022 06:00


(Credit: Antonio Augusto/Secom/TSE)

The guest list for the inauguration of Minister Alexandre de Moraes as President of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) still resonates in the political arena. More than 2,000 people attended the court ceremony, cheering the magistrate’s speech in defense of the Brazilian electoral process and democracy.

For political scientists, the presence of the political, legal and diplomatic elite at the ceremony was a sign of support for electoral justice, in contrast to the attacks of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and his supporters. In his speech, Moraes stressed the credibility of electronic voting machines and said that the result of the election on the same day as the election is “a cause for pride”.

The TSE President also stated that the interference of justice in the elections will be minimal, but will not allow abuse of the right to freedom of speech. However, Bolsonaro, who was present at the ceremony, did not approve of the chorus and remained motionless during the moments of applause.

Through social media yesterday afternoon, the minister once again defended Brazilian democracy. “The TSE ceremony symbolized respect for institutions as the only way to grow and strengthen the Republic and the strength of democracy, as the only political regime where all power comes from the people and which should be exercised for the good of the people,” Moraes wrote.

The inauguration was accompanied by STF ministers, former presidents, politicians, 13 ministers from the Bolsonaro government and 40 ambassadors, as well as 22 governors, the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, and other government officials. At the same ceremony, Minister Ricardo Lewandowski was sworn in as Deputy.

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Political scientist André Rosa emphasizes that the presence of government officials is commonplace, but this event brought symbolism. “Obviously, the inauguration will be attended by the president and former presidents of the republic. But, in fact, if Bolsonaro was not present at this meeting, it would be very bad and an insult to democracy. It is also important to note that when Alexandre de Moraes speaks in support of the elections, everyone applauds except Bolsonaro,” he said.

For Nahue constitutional lawyer and political scientist Bernardo de Azevedo, the ceremony had several meanings. “Firstly, it shows the firm support of the figure of the minister himself, which may be decisive for his imposition of himself on the TS. At the same time, it supports the strong statements of the minister in defense of the electoral system. , which took on a strong tone and which, in other contexts, would be little more than a footnote in any news story about the event,” he noted.


first meeting

During his first appointment as President of the TSE, Alexandre de Moraes met yesterday with the Presidents of the 27 Regional Electoral Courts (TRE). The judge stressed that he would be open to dialogue. “We are absolutely open to everyone. Alone, TSE does nothing. The TSE works together with the regional electoral courts and with all election judges,” he said.

Moraes has already said he will not let his guard down during the election period. The TSE already has a plan ready to hold the October elections with the least possible disturbance and prevent justice in case of extreme scenarios.

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In a meeting with TRE, he said it was extremely important that preventive action be taken together on Election Day. Discussions also included fighting disinformation, working with security forces, training poll workers, and changes to ballot box distribution.

The minister will command selective justice during the most troubling elections since the country’s redemocratization. He will be tasked with ensuring the fairness of the voting system, as well as dealing with the untimely behavior of Jair Bolsonaro, who claims without evidence that the previous elections were rigged.

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Evangelists are at a political peak and single out Michelle and Janya – 17.08.2022 – Poder

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Evangelists are at a political peak and single out Michelle and Janya - 17.08.2022 - Poder

With a thumbs up, the pastor of the Assembly of God in Botukatu (SP) warns that anyone who votes for Lulu (PT) is “not worthy of the Lord’s Supper.” The best thing such a believer can do is to refrain from eating bread and drinking from a cup (usually grape juice), which is a symbolic recognition of Christ’s sacrifice, he says.

“He said there in the Sarawah circle when he got popcorn on his head that ‘the demons are bothering me now’. Do you have the courage to say that you will vote for such a person?” The religious leader refers to a video from 2021 showing PT participating in a candomblé ritual. Lula never claimed to have been possessed, but walks around evangelical churches with a quote taken out of context. He said, in fact, that “Bolsonarists on social media” spread “that the devil cares about me.”

Opponents conjure up a narrative of Lula’s collusion with darkness after the first elections in newly democratized Brazil, when evangelicals began to gain prominence in the elections. The segment now reaches, in this year 2022, polarized between PT and Jair Bolsonaro (PL), the pinnacle of its political activity, in a confrontation in which the first lady Michelle Bolsonaro and the sociologist Rosangela da Silva, Giagna, Squid’s wife.

The emergence of this Christian bloc in politics began in the Constituent Assembly, which formulated the Constitution of 1988. The first evangelical pew was formed there, which, in his own words, gave a “biblical ablution” to the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, Ulisse Guimarães.

“Brother, vote for brother” Josue Silvestre, a parliamentary councilor associated with another Assembly, God’s, dates back to that time. The book summarizes the new evangelical Zeitgeist: “The believer votes for the believer, because otherwise he cannot claim to be a believer,” wrote Sylvester.

“Evangelical leaders, especially Pentecostals, took advantage of the context of democratic openness to invest in political activism,” says Ricardo Mariano, a USP sociology professor who coined the term “neo-Pentecostals” in his master’s thesis in the 1990s. “Since the 1970s, pastors have been harassed by candidates who, when elected, often broke their promises. This, they said, encouraged them to nominate their own candidates.”

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Churches began, in Mariano’s words, to “strategically resort to the victimized fate of a persecuted religious minority, declaring the urgent need to protect religious freedom, Christian morality, and their own interests from attacks by perceived enemies through the election of church representatives.”

An example of a leap year when a pastor backed Lulu against Fernando Collor in 1989, Silas Malafaia says that as a child he heard pastors preach “that politics and television are the work of the devil.” He quotes the biblical passage “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” to explain why “I could not, thinking with my buttons, understand the reason for this.”

As a televangelist he worked “to give political consciousness to evangelists”. The old pastoral guard, in the words of today’s Bolsonarist Malafay, “only preached heaven and eternal life, as if we were not in an earthly context.”

Fake old news, re-released in 2022, is the idea that PT will close churches. Already in the 1989 elections, there was talk that Lula would do this if she won in collusion with the Catholic Church to eradicate the religious freedom of the evangelicals.

On the eve of the first round, the faithful of the Catholic Church sang “devil on a tightrope, let’s collorir, let’s collorir” at a vigil led by Bishop Edir Macedo, who wore a shirt with the name Collor.

The one wearing the shirt in 2010 was MP Marco Feliciano (PL-SP). It read: “I am a Christian and I vote for Dilma.” In the service, he made a mea culpa: “Like a parrot, I repeated: PT is going to close the churches in Brazil. […] Eight years ago, Lula was a demon. But Lula was chosen and not a single church was closed.”

Feliciano and Macedo were with Dilma Rousseff in an argument that was won by PT. Today, the Episcopal Church is campaigning that the Christian Left is an anomaly, and the MP reiterated that the PT is a threat to churches. Closing temples during the pandemic for health reasons helped inflate this “Lula risk.”

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Feliciano justifies his change of position as follows: PT is “committed to the principles of identity” and one way to silence churches is to shut them up. He says he thinks in the PT government, “laws that prevent pastors from saying that homosexuality is a sin, or that force believers into same-sex ‘marriages’ will swarm.” Lula’s campaign shows no signs of this happening.

Playing with moral pride is a resource that paid off for Bolsonaro in 2018,” recalls Ricardo Mariano. The pastors accused Fernando Haddad, the PT presidential candidate “participating in the anti-PT wave”, of being “an agent of cultural Marxism, a culture of death.” [aborto] and gender ideology,” he says.

In this election, the Catholic Bolsonaro has put an evangelical woman at the forefront of his campaign, whom he married in 2013 with Malafaia’s blessing. Michelle is seen as a more sugary antithesis to the president’s rugged image, which would be well liked by women, 58% of evangelical voters and her husband’s electoral wing. And it turned out better than the order, according to the allies.

The first lady can speak the language of the evangelists, said Apostle Cesar Augusto, leader of the Fonte da Vida church. “She does not pretend during the campaign, as we see with many politicians. We know the difference between authenticity and pretense.”

Malafaya repeats the good impression. “Michelle is known for being a woman, an evangelist who knows how to position herself, looks good,” she says. “And after seeing her husband being killed, like a macho who can’t stand a woman, my friend, a woman has panache, she began to open her mouth.”

Janja, on the other hand, is PT’s bet to lure female voters into a duel between two men who have entered the popular imagination as “macho goats.” However, pastors from the Bolonarist orbit believe that the sociologist has a religious responsibility.

Not only does she exude an image of an independent woman that brings her closer to the feminism rejected by many evangelicals, but she also posted a photo of herself posing next to images of orishas from Afro-Brazilian religions. Here’s how he signed it: “I miss white and twists, turns, turns…”.

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Michelle herself played a recording of the Candomblé leaders showering Lulu with popcorn. But not because of religious tolerance: the video associates this religion with darkness.

Lula’s headquarters is trying to run after Bolsonaro to prevent Bolsonaro from further distancing himself from the former president in an evangelical field that represents 1 in 4 voters.

Lula tested vaccines against a minefield that had been prepared for him to avoid regaining the evangelical voices that once belonged to him, like when he said at the start of his campaign that Bolsonaro was “demons-possessed.” He also brought Pastor Paulo Marcelo to his team, who allied with PT and was a member of the Gideões Missionários da Última Hora, a Pentecostal congress that put forward names like Feliciano, with whom he is friends to this day.

Paulo Marcelo defends a tactic now resurfacing in PT members’ speeches: reminding evangelists that Lula did a lot of good for the group, such as when he approved the law that established the March for Jesus National Day. The former president, he said, also deserves credit for better times. “The question is very simple: what has improved in your life? How much income did your church have at the time of Lula and Dilma, and how much do you have today?”

Something was already recommended in 2013 by Marcello Crivella, nephew of Edir Macedo, who at the time was Dilma’s Minister of Fisheries. At an event with pastors, today’s Bolsonarian Crivella stated: “The President said: We are no longer going to exploit the people. And when there is more money, the evangelical people are not the people who go to the boutique to buy branded clothes. people do? He goes to church more because he can afford the subway and train. He gives more offerings, more tithes, more charity.”

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