There are few groups of people I have less respect for than Brazilian politicians.
This is a group that collectively awarded themselves a 61 percent pay increase just weeks before the government announced 50 billion reais in budget cuts.
It features such people as Romario, who skipped his first real test as deputy in order to fly back to Rio to play beach volleyball; Paulo Maluf, the former mayor of São Paulo whose name is a byword for corruption; and Tiririca, a TV clown who won more votes than any other candidate in spite – or because of – declaring he had no idea what lawmakers actually do.
This is a group of people so out of touch with reality that they elected João Paulo Cunha, one of the principal accused in the mensalão scandal, as head of chamber’s most important commission, the Comissão de Constituição, Justiça e Cidadania. (Note the word Justice…)
But if there is any group that deserves less respect than politicians it is Brazil’s political parties. Brazilian political parties stand for nothing except winning power and milking it for all it’s worth. Which was why my lead to this story in today’s FT begins,
“Gilberto Kassab, mayor of São Paulo, started a new political party this weekend. Ho hum. Yawn.”
Brazilian Politics. Who cares? They’re all the same.