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[Via Rachel Maddow]: Several different Brazilian politicians are running for office using the pseudonym "Barack Obama." This is made possible, according to Maddow and this article in the Guardian, by a quirk in Brazilian election law that allows candidates to run under whatever name they choose.

While I'm thrilled that Obama is popular among people who have no influence over whether he actually becomes president, I'm also curious. Does anyone know the history of this election law quirk, or what its intended purpose is?

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
shannachie
Sep. 19th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
That's a fun idea. I should suggest that in our country. Mind you, a flood of Ms. Merkels would probably be hard to endure.
fjm
Sep. 19th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
You can change your name in the UK to whatever you want as long as there is no intent to defraud, and then stand for election. Hence Screaming Lord Sutch of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
wooble
Sep. 20th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
I assume it has to do with the practice in Brazil of most people being known by nicknames rather than their legal names. This is most obvious in their single-name soccer players, but it's easy to imagine that their current President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, might have a better shot in elections if he can just list his name as "Lula", which is what everyone calls him.

Of course, you have to wonder if you're allowed to run for office using the same name as your opponent.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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