Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as President of Brazil on January 1st. An ultra-conservative, bitter, prejudiced and verbally aggressive admirer of Brazil’s military regime, he had been on the political and ideological fringe for more than two decades but now finds himself as the head of one of the world’s largest countries, whether by territory, population or the economy. His election, last October, was met the world over by shrill warnings of fascism and hair-raising comparisons with the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet—whom he praised during the campaign.
In all likelihood, the Democrats will retake the House of Representatives in the November 6th elections. That will set the stage for an even more divisive atmosphere in Washington, as the Democrats will now be empowered to pass legislation in Congress that reflects their values and concerns. Will the 116th Congress look to heal wounds and find ways to build bridges or will it further entrench the two tribes? What will be the impact on Canada? For the global rules of order?