Talon Takes: The Election

In view of the upcoming elections this Sunday, The Talon went around the High School asking both teachers and students their overall view of the election. Beyond each person’s personal politics, we wanted to find out what they thought about the election as a whole and its meaning to the country.


The Talon: International news agencies are describing this as the most divisive election since the return of democracy. Could you explain why you agree or disagree with this assessment?


Sabrina Scheinberg Senior: I agree… we have a huge radicalization between the extreme right and extreme left and people are forgetting that there are 11 other candidates that fall in the middle of the spectrum.


Adam Pierce, Social Studies Teacher: I agree… it seems that priorities are split between extremes… and the voice of the middle ground is being drowned out.


Marcello Bulgarelli, Portuguese Teacher: I don’t think so. It may seem that we are deciding between PT or not PT. Or between Bolsonaro or not Bolsonaro. And this does not mean that we have two sides only. Au contraire, there are so many political possibilities and Haddad and Bolsonaro are only two of those. I wonder why people would describe this situation as if we were divided into left or right? Maybe we should ask what’s the intention behind those who want us to think Brazil lives under a dichotomy. For instance, in the US or the UK, people are used to deciding between two political perspectives but this is not what we are used to.


Mathaus Silva, Senior: I agree… The two main candidates are extremes … On the right there is Bolsonaro and a big part of the Brazilian population doesn’t agree with him… On the other side, there is Haddad and his party was a part of one of the biggest corruption scandals in Brazilian history… They divide the country in half.  


Gabriela Rocha Campos, Senior: I agree … many people believe that in this election you are picking the better of two evils…We have two candidates who are front-runners, who have autocratic tendencies who care more about ensuring their own superiority than the well being of this country. It’s been less of a debate regarding what they are proposing but who they are and where they come from… Two indices of people rejecting both candidates … causes even further polarization… There seems to be no acknowledgment of the 11 other candidates in the race.


Shane Hardwicke, Social Studies Teacher: I’ve only lived here for one election, but that’s the exact same language that was used in the last election. That it [the last election] was the most divisive ever since the return of democracy or since in Brazil’s history. I… that is also the exact, essentially the same thing that’s said in every single election in the United States. So, like, the expression has lost meeting to me because I have what I believe, to be a historical understanding of that. That being said, I do think it’s possible that the differences between the candidates might be larger than they have ever been. So in that sense, maybe divisive is a useful word?


The Talon encourages all Brazilian citizens over the age of 16 to go to the polls this Sunday and make their voice heard!