Friday, June 17, 2005

Politicking Ceara-style

I think I found Fortaleza´s most political street today. Avenida da Universidade houses at least four different trade union headquarters, including the state´s civil servants and federal workers as well as the teachers´union which I visisted this afternoon.

Also there´s the PCB (Brazilian Communist Party), which is different from the PCdoB (the Communist Party of Brazil - don´t ask me what´s the difference) and is situated in a small old house hidden between two, relatively newer buildings. It´s distinctive by being painted red from top to bottom with a great big hammer and sickle plastered on the side. It was looking rather empty when I passed.

By contrast, the PT´s offices were a little further down the road and were busy. I walked in, on the off chance they might have material relating to the 1990s - no such luck. But first I was waved away to an office further down the passageway; I´d walked into the municipal section while the state´s HQ was the second door down. Je-sus...

But beyond the passageway I discovered a little courtyard and a small kitchen which did food by the plate for the workers there. They were all sitting at tables under a large tree offering shade. And one of the women working there told me that they served food every day except Saturdays and held forro parties there on Friday nights!

That´s one way of attracting party members and votes, I suppose. But haven´t I heard about this somewhere else? Ah yes, rotten boroughs springs to mind...

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