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Nicola Sturgeon, the first record minister to push for Scotland’s independence.

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Nicola Sturgeon, the first record minister to push for Scotland's independence.

It was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who inspired Nicola Sturgeon to join the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) at the age of 16. Not because the British Conservative was a role model at a time when the economy was not doing well and unemployment seemed the norm, but because even then she felt it was wrong to have Scotland run by an executive that did not elect and because she was I am convinced that only independence can make a country prosperous. Something that he continues to defend today, at the age of 51, the last seven years at the head of the Scottish government. And therefore insists on holding a second referendum on this issue.

Sturgeon is risking his political legacy by seeking a second Scottish independence referendum less than 10 years after the first, while opinion polls show it is not a priority in the next two years. According to YouGov, only one in five Scots consider it a priority (after the national health system, the economy, education or the climate crisis).. And when they were called to comment on the topic, the majority would again vote against the idea. “If there was a referendum tomorrow, 44% of Scots would say they would vote ‘yes’ and 46% would vote ‘no’, with 10% undecided,” according to a Savanta ComRes poll conducted for Scot. “By removing those who are undecided, the intention to vote would be 51% in favor of “no” and 49% in favor of “yes”.

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Planalto controversy sparks debate over gender disparity in politics

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Planalto controversy sparks debate over gender disparity in politics
Plenum of the House on Election Day: few women in a predominantly male environment (photo: Clea Vian/Chamber of Deputies)

For the first time since the redemocratization, Brazil will have two all-female slates in the presidential race, for both the presidency and the vice presidency. The feat came after the confirmation of Mara Gabrilli (PSDB) as a deputy in the campaign of Simone Tebet (MDB-Federao PSDB/Cidadania-Podemos). Another slate woman from PSTU, with Vera Lchia next to the indigenous Kun Ipor. Together with Senator Soraya Tronic (MS), Unio Brasil’s official presidential candidate, this election becomes the election with the largest participation of women in the majority dispute.

The trend should repeat itself in the Legislature, in contrast to what was observed in the 2018 elections, when candidates represented only 32% of the candidates approved by the High Electoral Court (TSE), even with at least 30% of the votes distributed. election fund to ensure representation in elections. This year’s outcome of the October dispute is expected to better reflect the presence of women in Brazilian society, especially in the National Congress and in state legislatures.

Despite the stimulus policy, the National Congress is still not very feminine: the Senate has only 12 senators (15%) with 81 seats. In the Chamber of Deputies, out of 513 seats, only 77 (14.8%) are occupied by women.

In the last election campaign, cases of orange women’s candidacy were recorded in studies by foreign universities University College London and James Madison University. According to a poll, 35% of all female candidates for the Chamber of Deputies in the 2018 elections did not receive 320 votes. The numbers indicate that the candidates did not even campaign and raise suspicions that they were only used to comply with the quota law.

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The study also showed that 20 years after the passage of the Quota Act in 1998, there had been little progress in the representation of women in the House. From 1998 to 2018, the percentage of women MPs increased from 5.6% to 15%. Due to cases like “orange candidacies”, in January of this year, the TSE confirmed the gender quota and tightened electoral rules to ensure that parties effectively comply with the law in 2022.

In previous years, this issue was regulated by the regulations of the TSE itself. However, due to non-compliance with the rule, Constitutional Amendment 117 was adopted in April this year. The law establishes that political parties must allocate at least 30% of the funds of the Special Campaign Finance Fund (SFFC) and mandatory campaigning. on radio and television with their candidates.

In order to further encourage women candidates in the long term, the law provides for the establishment and maintenance of programs to encourage and promote women’s political participation.

little incentive

Luciana Panque, professor and researcher at the Federal University of Parana (UFPR) and external consultant to the Observatory of Women in Politics of the Chamber of Deputies, stresses that, unlike in countries like Mexico, where representation quotas are seats in the Legislature – i.e. after elections – in Brazil binding only for electoral disputes.

“Parties are obliged to nominate women, this does not mean that these candidates are competitive. Often candidates come either fictitious or with small investments,” he explained.

In addition to women’s quotas, other measures aimed at encouraging the representation of an identity can be seen in elections. Electoral lawyer and researcher at the National Observatory of Women in Politics of the Chamber of Deputies Carla Rodriguez identifies three main initiatives.

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“Dual voting for blacks and women to allocate the party fund and campaign fund should encourage parties to put forward more competitive female candidates, that is, they will invest in women with political capital. The Law on Combating Political Violence Against Women, a global and previously unseen phenomenon, also contributes to underrepresentation,” the lawyer explained.

According to experts, the inclusion of women in politics is a problem due to the lack of support and promotion of interests in this topic. So says political scientist Beatriz Finochio, who opposes quotas for female candidates as an interference that could encourage corruption.

“The role of women in modern politics, as well as interests. The way a society works, where even women cannot have an opinion, has recently changed. But now, for her to go from a voter to a candidate, a path. It’s good when there are women in politics, but it would be even better if we trained people regardless of gender,” the academician argues.

For University of Brasilia (UnB) political science graduate student Brenda Barreto, underrepresentation begins in the internal organization of the parties themselves. “The scenario of women’s underrepresentation at the national level, which we see, begins with the entry of women into the party. If we look at who are the chairmen of the parties, there are practically no women at the national level,” he said. outside.

The support of men is a fundamental reason for the success of existing public policies. However, coordinator of the Brazilian section of the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN/Brazil), Silvia Rita de Souza, sees that sometimes men feel cornered by the fact that the space is occupied by a large number of female figures.

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“When it comes to the political space, men feel cornered because in order for someone to enter, someone has to leave. They feel that they are losing space, and many do not understand the struggle, ”he appreciated.

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Center is not destiny – Opinion

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Civil society has risen to loudly and clearly declare that a democratic regime, won at the cost of much suffering, is non-negotiable and that its defense is above political and ideological differences that can divide citizens. Understandably, President Jair Bolsonaro’s authoritarian delusions may haunt him through sleepless nights and stimulate the imagination of the libertic fanatics who still support him, but it doesn’t go beyond that. Undermining the constitutional order that the President of the Republic has dreamed of in order to sustain himself over time will require a certain strength – material and political – and a spectrum of support that Bolsonaro certainly does not and will not have.

This was evident from the mass commitment of the population to Letter to Brazilians and Braziliansa civic manifesto organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo in defense of the rule of law democratic state and electoral justice.

BUT Map idealized in Largo de São Francisco, has the historical merit of uniting the various representative strata of society – capital and labor – around a staunch defense of democracy and periodic elections. But Bolsonaro’s attacks on the e-voting system and the holding of the next election itself are only the most pressing problems facing Brazilian democracy.

Once the next elections are held and their results are approved by the Electoral Court and recognized by all decent people in the country, as happened without incident in recent decades, the way the country is run will need to be redesigned. If the current model, in which government guarantors weaken the executive power and control the budget without any transparency and respect for voters and taxpayers, is maintained, then one cannot speak of democratic strength, even if the elections are the cleanest and the fair of history.

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How a budget is made and executed is at the heart of democracy as it concerns diligence with public money and debate about the purpose of these scarce resources. When the budget is dominated by a handful of parties and leaders who take it upon themselves to choose how and where public money is spent without being accountable to citizens, one cannot speak of democracy.

Thus, the struggle for democracy is also fighting to ensure that the allocation of billions of reais from public resources is subject to national interests, and not to the limitations of Centrão. To defend democracy in a presidential country is to save the authority of the future President of the Republic from being the great inductor of the national agenda. This was lost due to the moral and political weakness of the incumbent. Among the many evils he has caused, Bolsonaro has reduced Brazilian democracy to a humiliating level, and there is no indication that if re-elected, he will be able to do otherwise. Thus, his reappointment will doom Brazilian democracy to a long winter.

However, there are many who believe that whoever takes over as president from 2023 will remain as it is. Perhaps out of apathy, it is assumed that Brazil is doomed to live under the yoke of this predatory device. Nothing further from the truth.

It is entirely possible that relations between the President and Congress will be minimally Republican. Contrary to appearances, the pernicious association of Bolsonaro and Centrão, and before him the criminal consortium between PT and monthly workers, are not the only ways to run the country. History shows that the formation of government coalitions does not necessarily involve corruption or the transfer of power to parliamentarians lacking public spirit. We are talking about the division of power, which is absolutely normal in a democracy. The anomaly, which has come to a paroxysm in the present government, lies in the false purpose which enlivens the exercise of all this power. And this is what needs to be changed. United by such a common cause, society is able to give Brazil the fate it wants.

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After the flood, typical barbs at a political event in Kentucky

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After the flood, typical barbs at a political event in Kentucky

Republicans running for governor in 2023 took to the stage at Kentucky’s biggest political event on Saturday, criticizing Gov. Andy Beshear’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering support for the recovery effort the Democratic governor is leading in the wake of the floods and tornadoes.

As pointed out by his opponents, Beshear spent the day comforting families displaced by the flash floods that flooded the Appalachian region more than a week ago, killing 37 people. Beshear visited two state parks where some of the homeless suddenly found refuge.

“I’m in our state parks today, spending time with our families in eastern Kentucky who have been displaced by catastrophic flooding,” Beshear wrote on social media. “These Kentuckys have been through the unimaginable. My priority is to be there for them.”

Last December, deadly tornadoes hit parts of western Kentucky. The political speech at the annual Fancy Farm picnic – the traditional start of the fall campaign – was held about 10 miles from Mayfield, which was directly hit by a tornado.

Living up to the event’s reputation for bold attacks, Republicans who wanted to oust Beshear took aim at the restrictions the governor had placed on businesses and gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor said his actions saved lives at a dangerous time when there were no vaccines. The Republican-led state legislature controlled the governor’s policy-making power in a case decided by the state Supreme Court.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles called Beshear “governor of closure.”

“It brought our economy to a halt,” said Quarles, the state’s agriculture commissioner. “He closed our Mom and Dad stores. It killed countless jobs and left big stores open.

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“Guys, just because we are going through a global pandemic does not mean that our rights, our freedoms and freedoms should be thrown out the window,” he added.

In his remarks, Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Colmon Elridge defended Beshear, who consistently receives high approval ratings from Kentuckians in the polls. Elridge praised Beshear’s efforts to lead recovery efforts in tornado-hit western Kentucky and said he would do the same for flood victims in Appalachia.

“Once again, our governor is showing through our actions how we stand up to times of devastation and embrace our fellow Kentuckians not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Kentuckians,” Elridge said.

Beshear has already pledged not to attend the state’s first political event. The Governor originally planned a visit to Israel that coincided with a Fancy Farm picnic. He canceled this trip after severe flooding in eastern Kentucky.

The Fancy Farm scene was dominated by Republican officials, a testament to the dominance of the Republican Party in the elections. The event is a rite of passage for state candidates who are put to the test in the August heatwave while facing jeers and shouts from other party supporters.

The political attacks were accompanied by calls for continued public support for people recovering from tornadoes and facing the same challenge in flood-hit areas.

“We may have laughed a little today, but whether we’re Republicans or Democrats, you know we’re with you,” said Daniel Cameron, the GOP gubernatorial candidate. each other. We help repair and we help rebuild.”

Cameron then continued to promote his candidacy. He praised his support for former President Donald Trump and his work as state attorney general in defending Kentucky’s anti-abortion laws and fighting the Biden administration’s policies in court.

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“I am the best candidate and the only candidate who can beat Andy Beshear next fall,” Cameron said.

Two other GOP gubernatorial candidates also made presentations to the crowd and state television viewers who were watching: State Auditor Mike Harmon and State Representative Savannah Maddox.

Missing from Saturday’s political speech was Kentucky’s most powerful Republican, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. A pillar of the picnic for decades, McConnell loves to brawl but missed the event due to Senate duties. In his Senate address on Saturday, McConnell said the federal government’s role in the long-term recovery of flood-hit areas will increase once reconstruction begins.

“I will be visiting the area in person shortly to meet with flood victims and listen to their concerns,” McConnell said. and better than before.”

Biden declared a federal disaster to send money to help affected Kentucky counties.

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