Crowning Blow

Don't change the system; change the people. That's the message Brazilians sent in a national plebiscite on their form of government. Preliminary tallies showed voters favoring the current presidential system over a parliamentary option by 2 to 1. And republicans roundly defeated those favoring a revival of Brazil's monarchy, 66% to 11%. Most telling, nearly half the eligible voters boycotted the compulsory election or spoiled their ballots. With inflation nearing 30% a month, many Brazilians felt the plebiscite missed the point.

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