Brazil election results for WebStrong
by Jerome Armstrong, Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:13:34 PM EDT
I've posted here a couple of times that WebStrong is working a slew of races in Brazil. We are not doing the Presidential contest, but instead on 13 statewide, Senate and Gov, campaign teams. We're providing website technology and consulting, teaming up with Duda Mendoca, who was media strategist whom helped elect Lula. We've had a great team in place for the campaigns: Bruno Hoffman is in Brazil, leading the effort with the Brazilian Coneqt team. Matt McMillian (from BuzzMaker) has been on the team with us from the beginning doing internet strategy. Evan Moody has been the project manager for everything with Daniel Drehmer on the technical team.
Anyway, the first election results are in. You can see them here. The big news on the national level is that the Green Party candidate, Marina Silva, took in nearly 20% of the vote, forcing the other two candidates, Jose Serra, and frontrunner Dilma Rousseff into a runoff. Less than two weeks ago, Dilma was assumed to have a cakewalk into the presidency, but the recent surge of the Marina Silva left Dilma a few points shy of avoiding a runoff. There is wide speculation about how the third party votes will split during the runoff.
The one thing to know about Brazilian politics is that it is not a party-centric system, meaning the individual is much more powerful than the party. That's party due to the fact that there are not real ideological extremes that dominate, but mostly I think its due to the structure of how they divide the allotted TV time (allocated on a time-basis based upon the parties performance in the previous election-- the incumbent party has more TV time), that gives the incumbent party a competitive advantage for candidate recruitment.
Case in point. The "pear shaped" Suellem Rocha was invited to stand by the National Labour Party. The most famous though is Tiririca. The story goes that one of the incumbent parties was being brought down by a slew of corruption charges, so in order to prop up their proportional representation, they brought in a clown to run on their slate-- literally. Check out the video. Of the more than 300 candidates for Congress in the State of Sao Paulo (Deputado Federal), this clown got the most votes.
Probably the favorite candidate we worked for is Siqueira Campos, who is this 85 year old guy that made a YouTube sensation when he threw some punches on the campaign trail. He's going to be the Governor of Tocantins, winning by a bare majority, 50.5 - 49.5.
Another candidate we worked with is Paulo Skaf. Going for the Governorship of Sao Paulo, he was on the Partido Socialista Brasileiro which had next to nothing in TV time, so he was all internet, and wound up getting about 5% of the vote (twice better than we expected). Just to show you how little the party matters, he's basically a businessman.
Looks like the other Governor candidates won, Roseana and Ricardo Coutinho, but each just under 50 percent, so will have a run-off. Coutinho was our most successful internet campaign candidate, with social networking and blogging all going on the website.The only real loss was a Governor candidate of ours, Hélio Calixto Da Costa
On the Senate side, each voter gets one vote, but the top two in each state are elected to the Senate. This can make for quite tactical voting to occur with pre-arranged coalitions. So, we worked with two candidates in the state of Maranhao, both in the Partido Do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro. Edison Lobão wound up getting 33 percent, and João Souza got 30 percent, and they were the 1-2 finishers. In Sao Paulo, another example, we had Marta Suplicy, who wound up with 23 percent of the vote, which was good enough for 2nd, and a Senate seat.
Six wins on the Senate side. Technically seven, Lindberg, with the Partido Dos Trabalhadores, started off a client; but just to show that hardball politics happens in Brazil too, one of the Coneqt clients got snagged by a competing firm after we'd already launched the site.
We dealt with all sorts of restrictions that are relics of offline campaigning which were carried over to online campaigning. One particular odd one is that all of our sites are to be turned off, dead links, nothing there. For 24 hours on election day. Its quite odd, as that's when we get the most traffic, and have the most influence, here in the states. The beauty of this law, though, is that interpretation of this law varied depending upon the legal team involved in the campaign, so we ended up with some sites being turned off, while others were live.
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