The news that the ultra-right candidate in Brazil's elections, Jair Bolsonaro, secured 46% of the vote last Sunday has produced headlines around the world. Although "the markets" responded favourably to the result, liberal newspapers worried about whether an eventual Bolsonaro victory in the second round of the presidential elections, which takes place on October 28, … Continue reading The Brazilian coup’s harvest of fear and hate
Recent weeks have seen both organised and spontaneous protests by citizens against leading figures in the judiciary. An example of the latter was an outburst by passengers on a domestic flight against Supreme Court Judge, Glimar Mendes, notorious for his political sympathies with the PSDB, a video of which is available on YouTube here. A … Continue reading Is the Brazilian justice system entering a legitimacy crisis?
On Sunday July 1st, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (generally known as AMLO) was elected president of Mexico with a comfortable majority, securing over 53% of the vote against three rival candidates. The candidate of the party of the outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, José Antonio Meade, came a poor third. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) … Continue reading What can we expect from Mexico’s new government?
Brazil's former president Lula is now confined in his specially prepared cell in the headquarters of the Federal Police in Curitiba. This ended a weekend of high drama following his defiance of Judge Moro's order to surrender himself by 5 pm on Friday. His arrival at the place where he is to begin a sentence … Continue reading Lula, the coup and the Left
It is not exactly easy to be optimistic about what 2018 has in store for either Latin America or Europe. In a sense, my country of citizenship, the United Kingdom, now seems to offer one of the more promising political scenarios around. There is civil war within the country's elite, Theresa May's Conservative government gets … Continue reading 2018: a year for political hope?
On July 12, Sergio Moro, the federal judge presiding over the Operation Carwash (Lava Jato) corruption investigations in Curitiba, duly delivered his most important contribution to the coup process in his country. He sentenced former Workers' Party president Lula da Silva to nine and a half years in prison for passive corruption and laundering money received … Continue reading Brazil’s calvary
Both British and Brazilian democratic politics as usual are now in crisis. It may seem eccentric to make any kind of comparison between countries on different sides of the Atlantic in different hemispheres that have different histories and political systems. Yet it is worth beginning by reflecting on some issues that transcend these differences before … Continue reading Crisis with elections, crisis without elections: Brazil versus the UK in June 2017
In his very carefully argued speech today on the relationship between contemporary terrorism and foreign policy, Jeremy Corbyn observed that: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home." Conservative and Liberal Democrat … Continue reading It’s Corbyn’s critics who need the history lesson
Yesterday's general election in Spain has delivered a very different result to that predicted by the polls, although it is less surprising that it has replicated the indecisive result of last year. The election not only failed to deliver any single party a majority, but once again made the formation of any government dependent on … Continue reading The left fails in Spain