Brazil's hilarious taxpayer-funded joke political ads

Are you fed-up with all the political campaign ads on television? You’re not the only one! But rest assured you would be more disgruntled by them if you were living in Brazil.

Candidates included multiple Barack Obama, Bin Laden and Jesus impersonators, a clown, a dermatologist, and an auditor

Brazil’s electoral system is distinguished by mandatory voting and free televised airtime given to running candidates. Consequently, this has resulted in an increasing number of ‘joke candidates’ participating simply to take advantage of the required free airtime.

In the 2010 election candidates included multiple Barack Obama, Bin Laden and Jesus impersonators, a clown, a dermatologist, and an auditor amongst others. It is becoming more and more commonplace for citizens to simply enter as a candidate in order to promote their real businesses with the free airtime than to run as actual hopeful candidates. With a political system divided amongst more than 20 parties, this can make primetime television a surreal experience.

Behold the fruits of taxpayer dollars

Unfortunately, the joking manner of multiple candidates results in many Brazilians voting for the most comical or memorable candidate instead of voting based on actual political platforms.

He used slogans including “It can’t get worse” and "What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don't know. But vote for me and I will find out for you"

One of the more memorable candidates, Tiririca. His real name is Francisco Oliveira Silva and he is an actor, clown, comedian, humorist, politician and singer-songwriter. In the 2010 elections he ran for public office as a clown. He used slogans including “It can’t get worse” and "What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don't know. But vote for me and I will find out for you". His campaign stood out due to its joking nature and viral commercials viewed millions of times on YouTube. In his run for federal deputy of Sao Paulo he won with more than 1.3 million votes, whilst truly appearing to have little knowledge of the election issues.

How strange to think that our anti-establishment candidates are tame by comparison?!? Next time you’re feeling frustrated with political campaign ads, it could be helpful to remind yourself that at the very least, our candidates take their roles seriously.

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