OZY on the Folks Who Run This World

OZY on the Folks Who Run This World

Why you should care

Because it’s just a matter of geopolitics, after all.

Brazilian Provocateur: Dilma Rousseff

OZY dug into the former torture victim’s story in October, at the height of the Snowden affair, and she hasn’t shrunk in importance since. Now, standing shoulder to shoulder with Michelle Bachelet – and, of course, Hillary – she seems even more crucial to know. And then, of course, there are the comparisons: Rousseff and Clinton are close in age, not to mention proximate on Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list, Dilma and Hillary have led very different lives. The biography of the well-coiffed, 5-foot-7-inch economist reads a bit more radically than the former secretary of state’s. In college, for example, Hillary joined Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Around that time, Dilma, the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, joined a Marxist guerrilla band that robbed banks, stole cars and tried to overthrow Brazil’s military dictatorship.

Joko Widodo: The Indonesian Cory Booker

Never mind that the elections haven’t taken place, or that the man hasn’t declared his candidacy. Joko Widodo is practically the president of Indonesia. Darling of the media and the people, too, the man known by all as “Jokowi” is outpolling his presumptive rivals by better than two to one in an electoral contest slated for July. A prominent glossy just named him Man of the Year (“Next stage — the presidency”). Bankers predict the rupiah will rally if he’s elected, and foreign investors and ordinary Indonesians alike believe the slender 52-year-old will bring yearned-for reforms to the world’s third-largest democracy.

Could Chrystia Freeland Save Canada’s Liberal Party?

She’s a former journalist, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, and TED talk queen. And she wants a New New Deal, for Canada. So she’s bid bye-bye to two decades of journalism, and hello to politics. Meet the newly anointed star of Canada’s Liberal Party. Freeland, 45, became a member of parliament in November and is already writing the Liberal Party’s economic agenda. She’s widely assumed to be gunning — or groomed for — a cabinet post, and probably something bigger down the line.

Gabor Vona: Fashionably Fascist

Thirty-five-year-old Gabor Vona has achieved movie-star status among his supporters by putting a fresh face on an old brand of nationalism. His Jobbik Party resonates with many Hungarians, having won more than 800,000 votes and 47 of the 368 seats in parliament in 2010, making it Hungary’s third-largest party. Now Vona and his party — anti-immigration, anti-Roma, anti-gay and anti-Semitic — look to win more seats this spring.

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