Brasília - A presidenta Dilma Rousseff, durante cerimônia no Palácio do Planalto, recebe apoio de intelectuais e artistas contra o processo de impeachment (Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil)

Politics of Brazil and the NUS

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I bet you’ve read the title (probably while procrastinating – and hey, I don’t blame you) and thought, “there’s no way someone can link these two topics!” Hear me out.

I was born and raised in Brazil, and even though I left my homeland at a young age, I’ve been following the politics for a very long time. And when I say “following”, I mean that I have heard my parents screaming at international media outlets for not telling the truth, I’ve had to ‘like’ my mum’s posts on Facebook and I’ve listened to numerous accounts on how corrupt my country was, from afar.

As you can see, most of my opinions come from growing up under a pretty conservative family. It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I started forming my opinions on the Brazilian political crisis.

As you can see, most of my opinions come from growing up under a pretty conservative family.

Just to catch you up to speed, our president, Dilma Rousseff has been suspended from her role after the Senate voted 55-22. The reason for this is that she was supposedly moving money from Brazilian taxes to private accounts, as the investigation from “Operation Car Wash” examined.

In her place, the (possibly even more corrupt) Vice-President stepped up to plate, and since his appointment, has made some very controversial changes to the way that the country is run. How does that link to the NUS?

How does that link to the NUS?

You see, I’ve been against Dilma Rousseff for quite a while now as I have personally not been a fan of most of her parties’ policies. I was under 18 and living abroad during the last election, so I didn’t have a chance to vote against her. So, even though I was originally happy with her suspension, it wasn’t my voice that they were acting upon, but rather, the (loud) voices coming from the Chamber of Deputies.

Now, my vote for the NUS counts. I could choose to stay in what seems to be a very divisive organisation in hopes of benefiting from it, or I could choose to leave and face the expensive consequences alongside my peers. What I’ve learnt from Brazilian politics is that you can preach your ideas on anti-corruption and then turn the other way if someone else, who was also accused from stealing money, is brought to power.

 What I’ve learnt from Brazilian politics is that you can preach your ideas on anti-corruption and then turn the other way if someone else, who was also accused of stealing money, is brought to power.

Likewise, you can pretend to ignore the heaps of money that went missing while Dilma Rousseff and her party were in power. Whichever way you look, there will be pros and cons to each side, and your political affiliation may blind you to some of the negative consequences of the side you choose to represent.

Like the Brazilian political crisis, and unlike what many people preach, there is no ‘correct’ side of history, or a ‘right’ way to vote. This is not a time to fight dirty with your political opponents. It’s a time to have a healthy discussion on how we can improve our lives, and your position on the political compass should not come in between that.

It’s a time to have a healthy discussion on how we can improve our lives, and your position on the political compass should not come in between that.

You vote with your gut, and hopefully your brain, on what you think would best benefit you and your country – or in this case, your Students’ Union. Once more, like the Brazilian crisis (and possibly any recent major election), a few voices are amplified in the media while others are more prevalent on Facebook, Twitter, and in our case, even Yik Yak.

We’ve heard both sides: we might have to pay more for our iconic Purple if we leave. Or, we might have to stay and claim that we feel ‘represented’ by a union that has not been part of our daily conversations until a couple of weeks to go.

You vote with your gut, and hopefully your brain, on what you think would best benefit you and your country – or in this case, your Students’ Union.

So what way will it be? You decide. But you will also face the consequences either way.

 

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