Impeachment is the failure of Brazil’s political system

Published on plus55, by Gustavo Ribeiro, Aug 31, 2016.

The definitive removal of Dilma Rousseff from office means much more than the end of a political cycle.  

Brazil restored its democracy in 1985, following 21 years of military dictatorship. Since then, we have directly elected four presidents, half of whom have been impeached. I don’t care which side of this political crisis you favor: it simply doesn’t spell a well-functioning political system. Supporters of Rousseff’s impeachment have argued that our institutions are working, but such things simply don’t occur in healthy democracies. If anything, the downfall of Dilma Rousseff should serve as an opportunity to reform Brazil’s system … //

… It’s hard to tell which system would work best in Brazil. A parliamentary one? Not so fast. Out of the 513 Brazilian representatives, 299 have had run-ins with the law. It is not exactly the most upstanding bunch to take control over the government’s executive branch. So how can we improve the current system?

The first solution would be to implement performance thresholds for parties to have parliamentary representation, as is the case in many European countries. In Brazil, any party, including the smaller ones that have never elected a single person to office, receive public funding every year. We should be able to limit that funding to the parties who appeal effectively to Brazilian voters. This method was actually approved by Congress back in the 1990s, during a rare moment when our congressmen decided to reform our system for the better. The decision, though, was overturned by the Supreme Court.

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(GUSTAVO RIBEIRO is an award-winning journalist and has been published by both the Brazilian and the French media. He is plus55’s Content Director and one of its founders).

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Protests of National Anthem Restore My Faith in Humanity, on Lets Try, by David Swanson, Sept 1, 2016;

Activism’ and Its Consequences – Syrian Refugees Are Not Subjects for a Social Media Gallery, on ZNet, by Ramzy Baroud, Sept 1, 2016;

Public Relations Firm Claims to Have Ghost Written Thousands of Op-Eds in Major U.S. Newspapers, on Lets Try, by David Swanson, Sept 1, 2016;

Burkini Bans, New Atheism and State Worship – Noam Chomsky on Religion in Politics, on truthout, by C.J. Polychroniou and Lily Sage, Aug 31, 2016;

Making House – Notes on Domesticity: on NYT, by RAchel Cuskaug, Aug 31, 2016: A home is something both looked at and lived in, but that duality can be difficult to reconcile.

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