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Persistence and dynamics of the pandemic CPI



Andre Luis Carneiro Buna, Master of Political Science (UFPA), Researcher of Political Institutions: Legislative Process and Control Group

Bruno de Castro Rubiatti, Professor of the Postgraduate Program in Political Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Federal University of Para (UFPA), Coordinator of the Political Institutions Group: Legislative Process and Oversight

The Senate Parliamentary Pandemic Investigation Committee is drawing to a close. Last Wednesday, October 20, Senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM) opened the penultimate CPI meeting, which will undoubtedly go down in the history of the National Congress. At this meeting, rapporteur Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL) presented and read out the final report of this ad hoc committee, but not before promoting the report’s “leak” to obtain framing and the influence of some controversial points.

This CPI will be one of the shortest in Senate history since re-democratization. In short, it has an impact on society, because without pressure from the minority working in the CPI environment and social pressure from the media influence of the CPI alone, mass vaccination in Brazil could fail.

High popularity of the CPI (66% believe that the CPI is very important for the country).[i]) is an important fact, given the decline in confidence in democratic institutions in recent years, which makes the CPI even more important. The CPI, despite its regrets, has acted under the watchful eye of a population hoping for good results through daily worrying news.

But it is in this environment of support and confidence in the work of the CPI that popular fear comes to the fore. From euphoria and high confidence to the return of disbelief, impunity and “pizza”.

However, the simple fact that the CPI of a pandemic is set in the Senate and that its members will actively pursue it is a feat in itself. The vast majority of requests for CPIs filed with the Senate do not even lead to the establishment of a Commission and, when initiated, cannot be closed with a final report. Since in this house from 1995 to 2015, only 42% of the required CPI was not installed.[ii]

Of course, the CPI restrictions added to the part describing the closing of this type of commission ultimately lead to the joking and famous phrase: “The CPI always ends with pizza.” However, frequent utterances on television news, news reports and informal conversations do not do justice to the tool. Review all the effects already created since your application.

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The popular bad reputation that CPIs always end in pizza is the result of a punitive desire that is very common in Brazilian society, that is, the lack of punishment after an investigation, parliamentary or not, quickly turns into something invalid or organized.

It is important to remember that CPIs correspond to the main function of the Brazilian Legislative Assembly, which, in addition to legislative activity, should also act as an inspector and controller of the executive branch. These ad hoc commissions are part of a complex group of oversight instruments, and while the CPI is one of the most effective oversight vested in the legislature, it has its limitations associated with this power.

It is not that the CPI is riddled with vices that can hinder good progress and investigation of the established fact, however, you can not throw the child with water into the the punitive argument itself is not supported by the progress and process of institutionalization of the CPI in the Brazilian political system. Because CPI reports that ask legislatures to revoke mandates are not uncommon.

While the CPI cannot directly remove a congressman, it can sign a request to the House Board of Directors that asks parliamentary internal affairs to follow due process and forward it to the Ethics Committee. From this point of view, only the Budget Committee, created in the Chamber of Deputies to investigate the scandal dubbed Os Dwarves of the Budget, proposed impeachment of 18 parliamentarians to the Chamber, which led to the impeachment of 5 MPs in 1994.

In addition, it was the CPI that led to the first impeachment of a senator since 1988: Luis Estevan, then Senator from PMDB-DF, was recalled on the recommendation of the CPI by the judiciary. The same CPI was also responsible for the investigation that resulted in the arrest of former judge Nicolao dos Santos Neto, nicknamed Lalau.

Thus, almost every CPI is completed[iii] generates reports aimed at improving the control system. Legislative proposals, proposals for improving the control and inspection system of the advisory bodies of Congress, and changes in the rules of the legislative chambers are also commonplace.

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These are benefits that cross the established fact axis. Indirect benefits that are part of the world visible to the general population, however, govern the political system and its functioning.

Of course, the population’s desire for more severe punishment of those under investigation is not always fulfilled. This fear is shared by members of the Pandemic CPI. CPI Vice President Randolph Rodriguez (REDE-AP) expressed concern about the potential for charges. This fear is persistent, as the control function imposed on the CPI is political in nature and can be mis-characterized by the politician.

However, if CPIs do not correspond to punitive desires, we must point out that legislative innovations take place in the course of the work of these commissions. Over 20 years (1995 to 2015), the CPI in the Senate prepared 60 Bills (PLS), 5 Resolutions Bills (PRS) and 1 Constitutional Amendment (EC).

Legislative products are the result of hearings, debates, public hearings and deliberations that involve improving institutions. In this sense, the CPI pandemic is no exception.

There are 15 PLS and 1 additional account in total. Among them are proposals aimed at combating fake news health management system and criminal law reforms, and changes to the social welfare system to reduce social risks to family members and dependents of COVID-19 victims, in addition to the legislative proposals contained in this CPI, which also recommend from an overall improvement in public administration …

The pandemic CPI has challenged herd immunity and early treatment methods, which have proven ineffective. He liquidated what was conventionally called a parallel advisory office under the president of the republic. He pushed for streamlining the procurement of immunizing agents, questioning the delay in procurement of vaccines.

He drew the attention of the population to the secondary market for the purchase of the vaccine – the Covaxin case. In addition to exposing a case of experiments in hospitals in the Prevent Senior network, with changes in medical records, falsification of death data, and participation in experiments without the prior consent of the patient or family members.

So on Tuesday, October 26, the CPI on the pandemic will meet again to vote to approve the final report. At one time, the CPI worked as an instrument of pressure and control. This prompted the executive branch to submit concrete proposals to combat the pandemic. Despite persistent denial and the speech of the head of government against vaccination, the Ministry of Health was forced to act.

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Of everything it has produced so far, the pandemic’s CPI can no longer end in pizza. The political control imposed on the CPI, by its own characteristic, produces results as a result of its creation or during its implementation.

The most reliable and punitive results that the population strives for may not come out. The pressure on impeachment from the head of the executive branch can be fruitless. Blaming 66 people can be slow, which tries to reinforce the idea that Nothing happened same.

It should be remembered that after voting on the CPI report, it will be forwarded to other bodies, such as the Ministry of State, which will be responsible for continuing the investigation or exposing the suspects. In cases involving the President of the Republic, the consideration of complaints will be entrusted to the General Prosecutor’s Office with the approval of the Chamber of Deputies, which is necessary to initiate proceedings against the head of the executive branch.

Other CPI readings will be sent to the competent authorities: the Ministry of Health, the Federal Accounts Chamber, the Federal Council of Medicine and others. Thus, once the CPI is completed, the investigation, investigation and possible penalties will be passed on to other bodies that will become responsible for the continuity of the work and which may receive the attention and demand of public opinion.

Undoubtedly, the CPI of the pandemic will continue to create noise and its effectiveness will be tested. The news will continue to talk about its developments for a long time until the consequences of the established fact investigated by a special commission are resolved. The pursuit of practical results and broad knowledge, in addition to pressure and political control, will continue to affect the legislature and the judiciary.

Notes (edit)


[ii] Buna, A. PARLIAMENTARY SEARCH COMMITTEE AND POLITICAL CONTROL IN THE SENATE (1995-2015). Master’s thesis in the UFPA Postgraduate Political Science Program. Orientation Dr. Bruno de Castro Rubiatti.

[iii] According to Figueiredo, CPIs are considered complete when they constitute the final vote.

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Rodrigo multiplies the transfer of political funds to the allies – 25.09.2022 – Poder



Rodrigo multiplies the transfer of political funds to the allies - 25.09.2022 - Poder

São Paulo governor since April and candidate for re-election, Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), has maintained the practice of his predecessor João Doria (PSDB), of whom he was deputy governor, to multiply transfers of political funds to serve parliamentarians.

From January this year to the end of July, according to data obtained through the Law on Access to Information (LAI), the administration of Rodrigo e Doria allocated 1.28 billion reais to deputies in the form of resources to supplement its political base with benefits such as jobs and expenses.with health.

Like last year, even federal deputies were noticed in an unusual action.

BUT Sheet revealed that Doria had authorized BRL 1.05 billion (BRL 1.17 billion as adjusted) for parliamentarians for the same period in 2021. In 2020, the amount transferred was BRL 182.9 million (BRL 213.7 million as amended).

There has been a leap promoted by Doria and Rodrigo in pivotal years, from the Toucan primary in 2021 and the election in 2022.

Among the 14 parties under consideration, 9 make up Rodrigo’s coalition. The first six positions in the budget rating are occupied by the legends of this allied group.

The Tucana campaign hopes that, with the support of the public machine, the actions of mayors and deputies of the interior will contribute to a turn that will take Rodrigo to the second round in this last stretch.

The governor scored 19% in the latest Datafolha poll, behind Fernando Haddad (Portugal) with 34% and Tarcisio de Freitas (Republicans) with 23%.

The transfer of this amount, called a parliamentary demand, follows the logic of additional or voluntary amendments. That is, payment is optional and occurs at the discretion of the Tukan government, which ultimately benefits the allied base.

Impositional amendments are mandatory and are distributed equally among the 94 state deputies. The cost, however, is well below the budget allocated to the Allies. This year, each deputy is entitled to about 6.6 million reais (about 620 million reais in total).

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The TCE (State Audit Court) in its analysis of public accounts for 2021 cited evidence of a political distribution of values, as well as a lack of control and transparency regarding transfers.

Toucan opponents see the use of public funds as an electoral trump card to win the support of mayors, deputies and parties, which could lead to suspicions of abuse of power or administrative offenses, lawyers say. However, the introduction of additional amendments is common and legal in the system of public administration.

Last week, Rodrigo’s campaign began distributing a newspaper listing the government’s accomplishments in each city.

State MP Carlos Giannasi (PSOL) has already proposed a CPI on the issue, but has not received the required signatures from peers. “They’re replicating the same practices that Bolsonaro did,” he says of the speaker’s amendments supporting congressional support for the chief executive.

“This is an open way of co-opting deputies. So the government can take such unpopular measures. And it works very well because the mayors depend on the amendments,” he says.

Also, according to Giannatsi, what he calls clientelism creates unequal competition in elections between grassroots MPs, who have more storefronts, and opposition MPs. PSOL, for example, did not receive additional money.

The government stated that the service to parliamentarians is legal and that the requests are subject to technical analysis. The press service said that the appeals are about claims sent for processing, and that “this does not mean that all of them were actually paid.”

Parliamentary demands have been filed in 639 of the state’s 645 municipalities. In the elections, Rodrigo enjoys the support of the majority of mayors – according to the campaign, 511 mayors and more than 2,000 councilors attended a rally in the capital on Monday (19).

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“Get up a little earlier and stay up a little later to ask for votes,” the governor urged while speaking at the event. “I need every one of you in your city,” he said. Rodrigo also stated that he would be able to find out who was on his side.

The resource was used by 59 state deputies and 24 federal deputies, including the chairmen of the parties (Podemos, Solidariada and MDB) that are members of the Tukano coalition. Federal MP Guilherme Moussi (PP-SP) received the most funds with 74.9 million reais. He did not respond to the report.

Even Rodrigo’s allies claim that there was an attempt to attract the PP. The party supports Jair Bolsonaro (PL) at the national level, but in São Paulo, instead of supporting Tarcisio, it has merged with the PSDB.

Among the state winners was Leo Oliveira (MDB) with 49.5 million reais. The MP says that he uses technical and transparent criteria to determine the amendments. “The indication of these resources was mainly for public health, […] affecting the efficiency of public service delivery”.

Haddad’s campaign coordinator, State MP Emidio de Souza (PT) donated 2.5 million reais, the same amount as other members of the PT. In total, PT received 28.6 million reais.

Emidio told Sheet that the MP’s task is to deliver resources to the cities, and that he indicated amendments to “requirements that the government did not prioritize”. “Fortunately, some of them have been taken into account, and who benefits from this is the population,” he says.

Abbreviations for the PT and Tarcísio coalition, such as Republicans (30 million reais) and PSD (25 million reais), are at the bottom of the rankings. At the top are PSDB (292.6 million reais) and União Brasil (215 million reais).

Rodrigo’s deputy, federal deputy Geninho Zuliani (União-SP), released 19.1 million reais. He also did not respond to the message.

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The cost of each demand varies from 15,000 to 20 million reais – two additional amendments to this amount were intended for federal deputy Renata Abreu (Podemos-SP). Renata’s adviser states that Podemos was already at the heart of the government before and that if she had “a prominent position in obtaining resources, this is synonymous with the effectiveness of the mandate.”

The details of parliamentary demands are not published by the government on the transparency portal. After being requested through LAI, management sent thousands of PDFs corresponding to each request – there is no systematization and public transparency regarding these data.

Last year, the data was published after only seven requests through the LAI and physically delivered. More than 5,000 sheets of paper had to be photographed for the reportage.

The transfer is legal, the joint venture government believes

The government stated that “legitimate assistance to elected parliamentarians” was not irregular and that “the newspaper reproduces the speech of the PT candidate”. “In his opinion, the government should stop serving the municipalities and paralyze payments that support medical services until the electoral process is completed.”

The government also says it evaluates demand proposals made by citizens, organizations or through representatives and mayors. “All requests are subject to technical analysis by the secretariats, which assess the possibility of service. The criterion is the public interest. The process is transparent,” he says.

The note also said that, as PT and the Republicans suggested, “it is not true that non-base parties are not served.” “It is impossible to make any comparison with 2020, an atypical and especially relevant year,” he concludes, referring to the pandemic.

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Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy



Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy

Even before the formation of the New Republic, in March 1985, a significant number of technical personnel were called upon to form the civilian government of Tancredo Neves, the first post-war dictatorship. The President, however, died, and his replacement, José Sarny, eventually retained the team.

He did this because there was a buzz that the arrival of competent professionals in strategic positions would be enough to transform a country that had 21 years of oppression and repression and that had become a symbol of inefficiency, incompetence and corruption at all levels.

Based on this relevant and almost forgotten detail, Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta propose for discussion in Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil (Companhia das Letras) a still topical issue: solutions to the country’s problems will never appear only statistics and graphs of highly qualified technicians .

The two begin with the personal life and ideas of the political scientist Florestan Fernandez at the beginning of the redemocratization, when he warned that there would be a New Republic if democratic social forces jumped into action and did not leave this role in the hands of the government to solve problems. “They will make a democratic revolution, not a government,” Fernandes says.

In one of his last articles, published six years after the promulgation of the Federal Constitution on October 5, 1988, Fernandes drew attention to the constant possibility of democratic processes being captured by the bureaucracy.

“The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions from right to left. It stimulates personal career ambitions and private projects, divorced from the priority needs of the team. So it reinforces conformism, potential fascism and plutocracy.”

The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions.

In this context, both political scientists argue that the tension that exists between a strong and independent bureaucracy and the natural debate about democracy – with the broad participation of students, workers, indigenous people and many other social forces that are the engines of democracy – reaches the limit. the heart of building a healthy and effective diet.

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In support of the study, they discuss topics such as patrimonialism, meritocracy, and the politicization of the judiciary, in addition to major recent discussions such as the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, drug policy, and the Statute of Indigenous Peoples.

An example of the discrepancy between technocracy and politics can be seen in the anti-drug campaigns. “Alienation, the product of ideology, allows drug policy to be judged on the basis of process indicators, rather than indicators related to the overall policy goals, which in this case would be to improve the health and safety of people,” they write. the authors.

“But policy evaluation is based on the number of prisoners, the number of drugs seized and, in some countries, even the number of deaths. That is, if people use more drugs and die more often from drugs, but the police make more arrests and more arrests, politicians can present their failure as a success.”

The adoption of this inappropriate position can only be explained by ideology – and the power with which it can cause alienation. And here, once again, the belief that the technical approach can solve all problems collapses, the authors say.

Abramovei is a lawyer with an IESP-UERJ PhD in Political Science and has held several positions in two of Lula’s administrations (2003-2011), including National Secretary of Justice. From this personal experience, he reports episodes that help to understand his arguments.

Lotta is Professor of Public Administration at FGV-SP, PhD in Political Science and Researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, and in 2021 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. Together they draw conclusions that deserve reflection. , because of the serious moment of instability that runs through the country.

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Since the mid-2000s, they write, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has gained momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade, when politics has come to be seen as an expression, not of democracy, but of corruption.

Since the 2000s, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has been gaining momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade.

“The idea was reinforced that public policy decisions could be made by well-educated managers of any ideology: the difference between left and right would be insignificant if it existed at all.”

They explain that for every problem in society there must be the right public policy, which must be determined and implemented by a specialist who can do without dialogue with various sections of society. Of course, they argue, there is no good politics without good governance.

“Public managers must technically create the most suitable scenarios for politicians who, legitimized by voting, will make their own choice. But in many cases, some of these managers assume the role of changing the state and politics without having the proper legitimacy to do so, relying on the authority of the position to which they have risen by “merit”. In doing so, they undermine politics from within and slowly destroy democracy.”

The period following the 1988 Constitution, the authors write, demonstrates that patterns of state-society relations—clientelism, corporatism, and bureaucratic isolation—can only be overcome through structural reforms that will replace them with what belongs to a democratic republican country: “the universalism of procedures and participation.”

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The examples analyzed in the book, they add, also highlight the risks of a technical and meritocratic discourse that seeks to legitimize itself at the expense of politics and that actually hides individual interests or certain groups.

Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta argue that the structural problems of the Brazilian state will not be solved by meritocratic discourse or by well-meaning and well-educated young people who, in their offices, devote themselves to the technical analysis of measures to eradicate corruption and improve the state.

“For the fulfillment by the State of the purposes set forth in the Constitution, the building of a free, just and solidary society; eradicate poverty; in order to reduce inequality and promote the common good without discrimination, it is necessary to bet on both technology and politics.”

In order for the state to fulfill the goals set out in the Constitution, it is necessary to rely on both technical and political

The book is recommended by two former presidents of the republic. “Politics is fundamental to help overcome historical challenges and build a democracy that confronts its past of violence, does not oppress minorities, and guarantees public participation in decisions about the direction of the country,” Lula writes. In his opinion, “equilibrium democracy” is an indispensable reflection for those who fight for a just Brazil.

Fernando Enrique Cardoso emphasizes that the work combines solid academic research and the experience of those who have worked in government. The authors, he says, offer an original and relevant contribution “to understanding how to seek an unsustainable balance in our democratic construction.”

Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil
Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta
176 pages
Hard copy: BRL 69.90.
E-book: 39.90 reais.
Companhia das Letras

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Learn about electoral law mechanisms that improve the political process



published on 25.09.2022 03:55

(Credit: Minervino Junior/CB/DA Press)

Elections to the Chamber of Deputies will determine much more than the list of Brazilians elected parliamentarians. It will also indicate which parties will have access to party and election funds, which will be eligible for free advertising space on radio and television, and which subtitles will take the lead in the National Congress.

To improve the selection of parliamentarians and the qualifications of parties, the electoral legislation has established a number of mechanisms. This list includes rules such as the restrictive clause, the formation of federations and coalitions, in addition to the electoral coefficient and the party coefficient.

The barrier clause is important to avoid the appearance of rental subtitles or subtitles without ideological and programmatic identity. This is an incentive to build stronger parties, which experts say makes it easier for voters to identify the policies and ideologies that candidates stand for.

Another positive aspect of the barrier clause, or productivity, is the greater ability of governments to negotiate agreements with parliamentary blocs.

Understanding the mechanism of proportional elections, which determines the deputies who will be elected, is not a trivial task. But, in a simplistic way, we can say that this type of election guarantees that all the votes counted will be taken into account, if not the election of the chosen candidate, then the party will form a large bench.

The calculation that determines the number of votes required for an election is the electoral coefficient. The number of seats each party will be entitled to will depend on the party coefficient.

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understand how it works

barrier clause

The regulation, effective in 2022, establishes a minimum performance – a minimum number of votes.
for each party – for subtitles to have access to congressional leadership, campaigning and
party fund money.

To pass the point, a party must elect at least 11 federal deputies in at least 9 states (or DF).

Another way to get around the clause is when the legend has at least
2% of valid votes nationwide. In addition, the party must receive at least 1% of valid votes in at least nine constituent entities of the Federation.

In terms of votes, this means, roughly speaking, that each party would need 2.4 million votes to overcome the barrier clause. This number takes into account 20% abstentions and 5% blank and zero votes, the averages recorded in the last election.

The efficiency clause aims to consolidate the representation of the Brazilian party, which currently has 23 parties in the Chamber of Deputies. In the next election, parties will need to increase the number of votes in order to comply with the rule. In 2026, it will be necessary to reach the figure of 2.5% or 13 congressmen, in 2030 3% or 15 federal deputies.

Coalitions and federations

This year, for the first time, parties were able to form federations. This is an alternative to coalitions banned since 2017 in proportional disputes. For most positions – mayor,
governor, senator and president of the republic – the parties can still form a coalition.

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Approved in 2021, the federation is an alliance of two or more parties acting as one, with a common charter and program, registered with the TSE. The federation must exist for at least four years.

During this period, the parties must act together throughout the country, in unified action.
also in the National Congress. Unlike former coalitions, federations cannot be
closed shortly after the election. While parties retain operational and financial autonomy, the obligation to stand as a bloc in Congress or the next municipal elections represents a major change in model.

selective coefficient

The electoral quotient is obtained by dividing the total number of valid votes in the election of a deputy of the federation by the number of seats to which each unit of the federation is entitled in the Chamber of Deputies. The same formula applies to state meetings.

For example, if a state is entitled to 10 seats in the House of Deputies, and the actual votes for a federal deputy were 1 million, each federal seat will be filled by a factor of 100,000 votes.

party coefficient

The party coefficient determines the number of seats each party or federation will be entitled to in parliament.
Chamber of Deputies or in state assemblies. To get this number, all the votes of candidates from the party, federation or legend are added up. It is then divided by the selective coefficient. For example, if a party received 150,000 votes with an electoral coefficient of 100,000 votes, then the party coefficient would be 1.5 (150/100). That is, the party elects its most voted deputy. The remaining 50,000 votes may or may not guarantee second place.

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Under the rules in force for 2022, all candidates must receive at least 10% of the electoral coefficient.

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