The debate of whether or not to vote, or for whom, ought to be replaced with the conversation of whether voting is the only way to be politically active, or if the National scale is what matters the most.
The Bolsonaro administration has made it difficult to refrain from voting in the upcoming presidential elections. For those who avoid engaging in electoral politics, it is no simple task to continue this practice in face of his grotesque stances and policies. On the one hand, it seems to me that Presidents do less in terms of actual policy and more in terms of ‘selling’ to the general public and manufacturing support for whatever policy is already on the way — which is in the interest of a global Capitalist economic system as opposed to the interests of voters. On the other hand, the principles held by these individuals in major administrative roles have the power to stir public discourse and behaviors, normalizing retrogressive values which have concrete repercussions in society at large. Engaging in local lobbying initiatives, however, puts into perspective what the actual outcomes of voting are in our immediate environment.
I live in an area of Brazil with unique rocky Atlantic forest vegetation — unique enough to grant the demarcation of a nature protection reserve called Tiririca ‘Mountain range’ (Serra da Tiririca). This demarcation came after plenty of damage was already done by the swift and massive real estate industry of the last 40 years. The land my house was built on used to be a swamp, where alligators and birds lived, as well as rare plants. Unfortunately, my house is one of the few if not the only one in the neighborhood where spontaneous growth is allowed, and animals are welcomed rather than shunned or killed.