The June edition of G5 Talks was held with Marcelo Trindade — lawyer, law professor at PUC-Rio, former CEO of CVM, and former vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of BM&F Bovespa. Corrado Varolli, CEO of G5 Partners, and senior partner Levindo Santos spoke with him about the role that citizens play in building a more prosperous society.
In 2020, Mr. Trindade launched the book “O caminho do centro: memórias de uma aventura eleitoral” (memories of an electoral adventure) telling his experience as one of the candidates for governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, in 2018. The year prior, he was one of the organizers of the book “130 anos: em busca da República” (130 years: in search of the Republic) and won the Jabuti Award for his work, which gathered articles written by economists, political scientists, historians, and jurists on the main facts of each decade since the Proclamation of the Republic, in 1889.
G5 Talks is a project through which business leaders exchange experiences and lessons learned with the G5 team.
The electoral race
During the chat, Mr. Trindade gave behind-the-scenes details of his election campaign for governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, in 2018, starting with the surprise of his candidacy. Mr. Trindade accepted his candidacy after Bernardinho, a former coach of the Brazilian men’s and women’s volleyball teams, decided to leave the race, putting Mr. Trindade, who would run as vice-governor, in his place. “I did not plan for this protagonist journey. In fact, since I was not prepared for it, the journey was very difficult “, he affirmed.
According to Mr. Trindade, the election result “was very frustrating”, not because of the 80,000 votes he received, but mainly because the person elected was Wilson Witzel, the “other unknown candidate”, which was later removed from office after an impeachment process.
“I have several similarities with the ‘other unknown candidate’ elected by the population, such as lack of previous political experience, academic background in law and we even have the same age. Aside from his merits of getting elected, the similarities among us were very frustrating since it showed that the population was eager for changes and searching for someone who could represent a concrete possibility of this to happen. I also remember he was behind me in the polls during 90% of the campaign.”
Despite this, Mr. Trindade revealed he left the electoral race optimistic as he believes the population made a conscious decision and proved, contrary to what is often heard, that they voted attentively, even if this is often not enough to avoid mistakes in their choices. “Despite the lack of knowledge of what really goes on behind the scenes of a political election process and the speeches given by candidates, that is, the truths and lies of what is being said, the population voted in who they wanted to vote for. They wanted a strong candidate, someone who delivered a speech in favor of fighting crime, pro-Bolsonaro and anti-corruption. Voters believed in the message conveyed by the candidate who won the election”, he added.
Mr. Trindade also emphasized that witnessing the population’s yearnings up close was a unique and remarkable experience in his life. He recalls that “handing out leaflets personally to voters was the best part of the experience, a very valuable way of getting closer and being able to talk to people.”
A Rio de Janeiro of opportunities
Rio de Janeiro is a Brazilian state facing great difficulties, but the professor claims the region has enormous potential.
“It is a place with a lot of qualified individuals and many opportunities to be explored. It has a vast public network, municipal schools, and the largest network of federal hospitals in Brazil, for example. There are lots of people living here who are also lacking many things. In a certain way, managing this State is somewhat like the challenges of taking over a company going bankrupt and getting it back into business.”
The youth and the future of politics
During the chat, Mr. Trindade highlighted the importance of younger generations engaging in politics. According to him, a well-done political project can cause incomparable impacts on people’s lives.
“The current generation is much better at the notion of prioritizing public interests and acting in favor of community interests. What happens is that politics keeps pushing us away from this. So, people decide to do other things to participate in the community. They prefer to engage in other cultural and social projects and end up having difficulty in joining a political party. We need to take this energy and transform it into a stricto sensu political movement.”
His final message to young people is that “they should participate and change politics from the inside. It is a very wide field. Someone with ability and talent can quickly stand out. There is plenty of action room and the impact is always relevant”.