The best way to fight the pandemic is to vote – 11/11/2020 – Jorge Abrahão

The choice as the right to vote who will rule our cities in the coming years is one of the most important manifestations of citizenship, comparable only to permanent social participation. After the US elections, it is time for local elections in Brazil next Sunday (15). One of the lessons from the experience in North America was that the population understood the importance of voting and was polling in record numbers. Both candidates, Biden and Trump, had a vote never seen in history, and this strengthens democracy regardless of the outcome.

In the months leading up to the elections, athletes, artists, the media and civil society organizations participated in the campaign to promote voting. Politics runs through our lives, although some people insist on refuting it.

It is very important to know that we deal with politics on a daily basis: from transportation to water supply; from lighting to waste; from travel prices to bus tickets; from safety to the quality of health and education. Everything breathes politics. So there is no point in regretting it later if we don’t use voting as a tool for transformation.

It should be remembered that there are no “saints” in politics (since they do not exist in life) and that the challenge for all of us is to seek those who have proposals that come closest to what we believe to be important to understand society. In the last election, millions of people abstained or voted blank, surpassing the votes of the victorious candidate. Make no mistake, everyone, including those who abstain or vote, is responsible for the results of the ballot box.

The moment requires participation, both there and here. All of the reasons that led to this number of visitors in the US are in Brazil. The irresponsibility of the federal government in dealing with the pandemic, which unfortunately and unnecessarily makes the USA and Brazil the two countries with the most deaths from Covid-19.

The economic crisis that strangles businesses and increases unemployment. Denialism towards science and disinformation as methods of action. The fires in the Pantanal and the Amazon. And violence against the black population, which has mobilized millions of people around the world and is even more present in Brazil.

We therefore have every reason to cast our vote this Sunday. Ease of participation and voting are extremely important acts for the country. The foundations for a transformation in the cities first and in the country next will be determined in the local elections. It is an opportunity to express the desire for change (or, if necessary, continuity) and to evaluate the public policies of those who are sovereign in a democracy: the people.

At this point in the pandemic, a group of civil society organizations with more than 50 supporting organizations launched the Campaign for Safe Elections: Democracy is an Essential Activity. This movement to defend the 2020 elections successfully claimed that constitutional amendments for holding elections (first and second rounds) should be limited to shifting the calendar on an exceptional date without changing the length of current terms.

It also reaffirmed civil society’s commitment to health security throughout the process from pre-campaign to the time of voting, and confirmed the protocols adopted by the TSE. So next Sunday let’s exercise our citizenship in a safe way: with hygiene records, pen, mask and alcohol gel.

Voting is the nonviolent way to change society. We will all have the opportunity to express our views this Sunday. Don’t give up that right. Poll!

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