By: E. Wichmann
On Thursday the 6th of September, candidate for the Brazilian presidency, Jair Bolsonaro was campaigning in the city of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais when he was stabbed by a supporter of his opposition, assumed to be a supporter of the PT candidate, Fernando Haddad. It is believed that the knife was aimed at his heart but was deviated to his stomach. The candidate was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and was later transferred to the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo where he had a series of surgeries, and is still recovering.
The days following the stabbing saw an increase in the candidates predicted votes of about 4.96%, a significant change for a short period of time. The event can lead to a certain sympathy for him which does increase the number of votes. However, the number of these “pity” votes are limited due to the huge amount of people who strongly dislike Bolsonaro, and his proposals for Brazil.
There are definitely also negative repercursions of the event. Firstly and obviously there are the physical damage caused by the stabbing which will lead to a definite decrease the amount of live campaigning done by the candidate (at least in the first “turno”). The incident also shows the Brazilian people the weakness and lack of public safety, which is one issue which the candidate is quite passionate about resolving, to the point that a candidate for the Brazilian presidency is stabbed in a popular square.
Not only does the stabbing show these flaws, it also shows how polarized Brazilian politics are. With people that support radical politicans and people who absolutely hate those politicians. Both sides are opposite and hostile towards each other. Candidates who are in a “middle ground” of both sides are not as popular as the polarized ones.
In the long term, the biggest issue and consequence of him being stabbed is that he will not be able to participate in the debates, a source where he could gain many supporters and also vocalize and advertise his proposals. Also, it leads the Brazilian population to have more contact with the Worker's Party (PT) candidate, Fernando Haddad, as he will be able to continue his campaign, thus increasing his number of supporters.