The Rio mayoral elections were won by a very, very tight margin (55,000 votes, or a little over 1% of votes cast) by Eduardo Paes of the PMDB — the party of the establishment in Rio, given that the last several governors were PMDB, and Mayor Maia started out there as well before flipping to the PFL — over Fernando “I Kidnapped The American Ambassador” Gabeira, the former PT activist turned dissident and PSDB-backed oppositionist for the Green Party.
(Green parties all over the world have taken a notable turn to the right in recent years, don’t you tend to find?)
A concerted online “viral marketing” marketing campaign is reportedly underway to question the legitimacy of the result.
Outgoing Rio mayor Cesar “The Naked” Maia has already been furiously at work on his “ex-blog,” trying to undermine the credibility of the established polling institutes, IBOPE and DataFolha, which predicted a tight race, tipping toward Paes. See
The item is from the Jornal de Commercio of Rio — 90% wire service copy, 10% gossip columns. The “Pro-Democracy Movement” blog is currently offline for — says the Blogger Web site — “possible violations of the terms of service.”
The campaign has many of the features associated with “astroturf” — phony “grassroots” — campaigns, such as the careful maintenance of plausible deniability when it comes to linking the spontaneous upwelling of righteous indignation and concern for universal values with any merely partisan interest! But who knows at this point?
File under “Orkut, youthful Brazilians are absolutely bonkers over …”
Simpatizantes do deputado Fernando Gabeira, candidato derrotado do PV à Prefeitura do Rio, estão usando a internet, instrumento estimulado por ele durante a campanha, para organizar um protesto, na sexta-feira, contra o resultado da eleição. Gabeira perdeu para Paes por apenas 55 mil votos, num segundo turno marcado pela campanha negativa de panfletos apócrifos e flagrantes de boca-de-urna.
Supporters of federal legislator Fernando Gabeira, the defeated Green Party mayoral candidate for Rio de Janeiro, is using the Internet, a tool used extensively during the campaign, to organize a protest Friday against the result of the election. Gabeira lost to Eduardo Paes by just 55,000 votes in a runoff election marked by negative campaigning through irregular pamphleteering and flagrant illegal campaigning activity at voting precincts.
Logo após a apuração, no domingo, amigos criaram uma página no site de relacionamentos Orkut para discutir os flagrantes de boca de urna do segundo turno, que favoreciam Paes em sua maioria. Em três dias, a comunidade já contava dez mil adeptos. Um manifesto do intitulado “Movimento Pró-Democracia” se espalhou pela internet em blogs, messengers e correntes de e-mails.
As soon as the results were tallied, on Sunday, friends created a page on Orkut to discuss illegal campaigning during the runoff voting, most of which favored Paes. In three days, the community had attracted more than 10,000 members. A manifesto titled “Pro-Democracy Movement” was spread by blogs, IMs, and e-mail chain letters.