Another example of Star Trek intersecting with politics has cropped up, this time in Brazil. A rather eccentric hopeful in the October elections has been deemed the "Spock Candidate" by the Brazilian media. TrekMovie’s Brazil correspondent talked to the Gravuni to find out more.
TrekMovie talks to Brazil’s ‘Spock Candidate’
After signing off his TV commercials with "vida longa e próspera" ("live long and prosper" in Portugese) and the Vulcan salute, Antônio Vilmar Gravuni (who goes by the simplified "Gravuni") got the notice of the Brazilian press. The Journal deemed him "The Spock candidate."
One of Gavuni’s web commercials – all of which feature him doing the Vulcan salute
TrekMovie reached out to Gravuni, who is running for the office of national deputy for the PRP party in the Santa Catarina region in South Brazil. While he says that he is aware that "vida longa e próspera" and that hand salute are Trek references, he actually argued that for him it was more to do with honoring the original Jewish tradition (which is where Leonard Nimoy drew inspiration for the original Vulcan salute). Even more puzzling is that Gravuni is not Jewish but says he is a follower of the Occult.
Gravuni did say that he is a Trekkie (especially the original Star Trek series) but noted he is not a "hardcore Trekkie." That being said, he does seem to embrace the philosophies of Star Trek. Not only do Gravuni’s campaign videos (which you can see here) feature the Trek slogan and salute, they also espouse Trek ideals such as gender equality, respect for different kinds of thinking and respect for human life.
Gravuni is definitely a long shot candidate. The PRP (Partido Republicano Progressista or Progressive Republican Party) is very small with only 2 out of 513 seats in the current Chamber of Deputies (the Brazilian equivalent of Parliament or House of Representatives). It is too early to see if Gavuni’s message of "vida longa e próspera" will help him join their ranks.
Find out more about Gavuni on his official Facebook Page.