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The end of Britain’s most powerful political symbol

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Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain died on 8 September. In addition to inviting the reader to consult the Gazeta do Povo obituary of the monarch, this case raises some speculation. As far as political issues are concerned, none of them are of course very short term, as the next few months will be marked by official ceremonies. And then, however, what could be the specific political consequences of the death of the longest-lived monarch in British history?

For a significant part of the British population and several countries that are the possessions of the crown, Elizabeth II was a symbol in the positive sense of the word. For these people, it meant resilience, stability, a familiar face in politics. It also meant, especially for older people, British fame, “good times” when these people felt they ruled most of the Earth, she who was the last monarch of the British Empire as she once was.

Of course, this is a short goal, limited to one paragraph. The fact is that Elizabeth II connected the British generation Z of 2022 with the baby boomers of the 1950s, the fusion of British identity and the constant presence in the imagination of these supporters. It also became a symbol of behavior compared to political and personal scandals involving children, sisters, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. In short, Elizabeth was a kind of “collective grandmother” who had ruled since the 1950s and whose public functions date back to World War II.

Charles III

For all these reasons, the symbol that was Elizabeth II will not have a suitable replacement. At least not his son, the new King Charles III, or his grandson in the line of succession. And this is and will continue to generate concrete political consequences, not only in gossip tabloids or protocols and codes of etiquette. The first and most obvious aspect is that the popular image of Charles III is far from favorable.

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In recent years, there have been speculations at various times that he might abdicate in favor of his eldest son, William. Let’s remember that British law is customary and the precedent for abdication that exists today is that of Edward VIII who abdicated in 1936. a wife may at some point claim the crown.

For Charles III to abdicate on behalf of his son, if any, would require another Act passed by Parliament. For a number of reasons, including mourning for the longest-serving British monarch, this is not possible. Charles III is king, it remains to be seen if he will be crowned. Edward VIII was not even crowned as the ceremony is not immediate to observe a period of mourning for the deceased monarch. Interestingly, the unpopularity of Charles III can be partially reversed, depending on his role in the farewell ceremonies for his mother.

United Kingdom

Other implications for British domestic policy are also possible. Not in the short term, of course. No political leadership will risk appearing disrespectful of due rites and national mourning for this powerful symbol that has passed away. One is the strengthening of the Scottish demand for a new independence referendum, as already promised by Nicola Sturgeon, whose Scottish National Party has a majority in the local parliament. Opinion polls on this topic are practically a draw.

Scotland’s independence is also being strengthened by Brexit, which further affects relations on the island of Ireland, a problem that we have already seen several times here in our space. The loss of the monarchy’s most powerful symbol could strengthen Irish republicanism in the long run. Reminding our reader that in the context of Northern Ireland, “republicanism” does not simply mean secession from the United Kingdom, but reunification with the Republic of Ireland on a single island.

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This does not mean that Elizabeth’s death directly reinforces these principles, but rather that the power of her symbol prevented further progress towards Scottish independence or Irish republicanism. Republicanism has the same effect on the other dominions of the British crown. When we say that Elizabeth was the last monarch of the empire, we mean how many territories became independent and how many of the crown’s dominions became republics, completely separate from the United Kingdom.

In the first decades of her reign, Elizabeth lost the crowns of Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana, countries in which she was head of state even after independence. It was not just a historical process. Fiji and Barbados have become republics in recent years. Barbados was even the topic of a column here in our space, and on this occasion we have already talked about the rise of republicanism in the British kingdoms after the Queen has carried out the natural course of life, which is what happened now.

republicanism

In the medium term, we will see an increase in Republicanism in New Zealand, Australia and the Caribbean. In May 2021, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that she believed the country would soon become a republic. Polls put a sort of “tie” on the issue in public opinion, while programs such as a new national flag without British symbols and greater Māori participation in politics enjoy more support.

In Australia, Republicanism is winning in several opinion polls, in addition to being defended by the Labor Party and the Greens, and the Liberal Party is strong. The same debate cited about the flag and the political role of the indigenous population also applies. In the case of these two countries, relations with London may not be supported by the monarchy or King Charles III, but by the fear of worsening relations with China. Republicanism would probably mean a closer rapprochement with the US.

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It would be naive to think that the death of Elizabeth, which interrupted the political trajectory of such a powerful symbol as her reign, would have no political consequences. It will be a big national commotion, maybe worldwide, but after that commotion, many will ask themselves, “Now what?” And many of the answers that will come up will not be pleasing to London ears, let alone the new King Charles III.

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Editora Fórum publishes the book “Political Control of Constitutional Reform”

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Editora Fórum publishes the book "Political Control of Constitutional Reform"

Forum Publisher starts work”Political control of constitutional reform“, author Barbara Broom Neri. The book goes beyond the general discussion of judicial control and directs its analysis, critique and proposals for political control of constitutional reform with a contribution to the role of the National Congress as the guarantor of the legitimacy of the Constitution.

(Image: disclosure)

In a well-tailored work, one can trace the development of each theme, the reasoning being built, the detailing of the alleged, the component part of the reasoning, ideas and transitions to other topics.

According to the author, “the study aims to contribute to the rationalization of the due legislative process, revealing, through theoretical and empirical research, aspects of the functioning of the National Congress and its activities as a derivative body during the first 30 years of operation. Constitution of the Republic of the Federation of Brazil of 1988″.

The author makes a description and a deep theoretical and dogmatic analysis of the regimental legislative process of amendments in two legislative chambers – the Chamber and the Senate. And it goes further. When carefully analyzed, he shows the importance and use of the Internal Rules, how they define the legislature’s own institutional structure for the political control of constitutionality, and the manner and rationale for parliamentary action in the control of jurisdiction.

Moreover, this explains the unprecedented importance that the Judicial and Legislative Powers have acquired in social terms, arousing the keen interest of the population, which began to discuss a wide variety of legal and political topics – a growing and necessary discussion for building a participatory and just democracy, which also places the burden of filtering on the academy. information and the production of critical knowledge.

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___________

Barbara Broom Neri

Doctor of Public Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais and specialist in procedural law.

__________

__________

Forum Publisher

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

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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

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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.”

Service:
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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