Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 03:14:33 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

Political reform: The new buzzword

By
25th-Mar-2015       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Erick Vasconcelos :
After the large scale protests throughout Brazil last Sunday, politicians, bureaucrats and the pro-government media are hurrying to talk about "political reform" as an answer to popular dissatisfaction - as opposed to the "coup-supporting" opposition who longs for president Dilma Rousseff's impeachment. Marcelo Zero, for instance, preaches the party line and states that "those who are actually against corruption do not want impeachment, an euphemism for coup d'état, but support political reform" (Brasil 247, March 15).
Despite the different and occasionally reactionary requests of the protesters in the streets, they display the obvious: that Brazil's political and economic decline has become intolerable. The economy is in ruins, real wages fall while unemployment rises. Alongside that, corruption cases surface every day - the largest among them being the bribery scheme by construction companies contracted by Petrobras, which stuffed the coffers of the president's Workers' Party (PT).
According to PT supporters, however, Brazil became Narnia around 2002, when then president Lula played Aslan in a magic wonderland of perpetual progress where any lingering doubt is attacked in hysterical denunciations of the non-believers.
Large sectors of the Brazilian left, ever since PT got in power, have become extreme legalists, opposing any form of organization outside the conventional institutions. These Leninists tend to cry wolf at any disturbance of the order, calling them "coups."
This opportunistic legalism translates into the transformation of political reform into a sacred cow of Brazilian politics.
Obviously, political reform is only an easy answer to alleviate the pressure of the crisis, since no one has yet decided what it actually means. Lula, for example, has stated that it involves "public funding of electoral campaigns" (Época Negócios, March 15). For fellow PT members such as federal deputy Enio Verri ("Reforma política ampla e popular," Brasil 247, March 18), though, it involves a "constitutional assembly to debate and develop a new electoral system," "a thorough and popular reform, in conversation with every sector of society, and which respects the characteristics of a continental country, with its rich and diverse culture." Curiously, while impeachment is seen as coup, rewriting the constitution seems to be well within the acceptable rules of the game.
PT members believe that public funding of electoral campaigns is essential to prevent "private interests," as Zero puts it, from having influence over the political process. Nonsense: The state is but a manifestation of private interests. Public funding has never prevented "private interests" from taking over the state; the state exists to serve those interests.
Former Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello, for instance, resigned in 1992 (before he could be impeached) following the corruption scheme set up by his campaign treasurer PC Farias, who was a middleman between the government and large businesses. At the time, private funding was forbidden, but it didn't matter at all to stop corruption.
Corruption debates are frankly irrelevant when we begin to see the state as what it is: a tool of the elite for the economic exploitation of the general population. When we abandon our distorted party lenses, we begin to see that the payment of bribes by construction companies in exchange for Petrobras contracts wasn't anything but expected given our established institutions. The pro-government "protests" from last Friday (13), anticipating the opposition movements from Sunday and organized by the Unified Workers' Central (CUT), argued that "Petrobras is the property of Brazilians!" It isn't, it has never been, and it won't ever be.
 "Public funding of electoral campaigns," on the other hand, will result in a party system ever more monopolized where money flows upwards to established politicians. And, obviously, that won't stop "private interests" from interfering with politics.
Government supporters will never accept this simple fact because, for the PT establishment, politicians are pure angels corrupted by private money. As Oscar Wilde would put it, they can resist anything but temptation.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident


NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and also the son of martyred journalist Selina Parvin was found dead in the capital's Khilgaon the day before yesterday. There ...

Business & Economy »

A delegation headed by Farzana Chowdhury, CEO of Green Delta Insurance makes a courtesy call with Dr. M Khairul Hossain, the newly appointed Chairman of Security Exchange Commission recently. Additional Managing Director and Company Secretary Syed Moinuddin Ahmed and Deputy Managing Director Wafi S M Khan of the company were also present.


Football »

England beat Tunisia 2-1


AFP, Volgograd :Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.  Gareth Southgate's men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half ...

Football »

Harry Kane : England's new prince


AFP, Volgograd :Harry Kane rose emphatically to the World Cup challenge in England's opening match against Tunisia, scoring a last-gasp winner to give Gareth Southgate's side lift-off in Russia.It was a remarkable World Cup debut for Kane, who bore the added pressure of the captain's armband and the weight of ...

Entertainment »

I`m indebted to J.P. Dutta for life : Pooja Bhatt


Actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt said she is indebted to veteran director J.P. Dutta for not only making her a part of 'Border' but also for encouraging her to never change. 'Border' on Wednesday completed 21 years of its release and Pooja took to Twitter to thank Dutta for casting her in ...

International »

US won`t be made a migrant camp


President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would not become a "migrant camp" as he faced mounting pressure to stop families being separated as a deterrent to illegal immigration."The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility," Trump ...

City »

Pedestrians passing through a muddy road as the authority concerned does not repair the road for long time. The snap was taken from Bibir Bagicha area in the city's Jatrabari on Tuesday.


Editorial »

Save the flood victims and take adequate measures for post-flood rehabilitation


INCESSANT rainfall in the last few days has triggered floods in the country's East and South East districts. Thousands of people of Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Feni and Chattogram districts have been marooned as floodwater crawled to inundate their homestead and damage crops and livestock. The New Nation recently reported that Khowai, ...

Football »

A Mexico soccer fan celebrates her team victory against Germany after their group F match at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Sunday.


Sports »

Federer wins 98th ATP title in Stuttgart


AFP, Germany :Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) defeat of Milos Raonic in the grass-court Stuttgart Cup final.The Swiss great, who will be chasing a ninth Wimbledon triumph next month, beat his Canadian opponent for the 11th time in 14 meetings while ...

International »

US policy on migrant kids `unconscionable`: UN rights chief


AP, Geneva :The U.N. human rights chief is urging the Trump administration to end new policies separating migrant children from their parents after entering the United States from Mexico, saying they've affected nearly 2,000 kids in the last six weeks.Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein says it's "unconscionable" that any country would seek ...

International »

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans


AP, Washington :The emotional policy of separating children from their parents is also starting to divide Republicans and their allies as Democrats turn up the pressure.Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy "cruel" and "immoral" while GOP Sen. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanging pleasantries with diplomats at Ganabhaban in the city on Saturday on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Fitr.


Editorial »

Eid Mubarak


EID UL FITR is an important religious event celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The Eid (Muslim religious festival) is the first and only day in the month of Shawal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The ...

Cricket »

History-making Afghanistan get baptism of fire in Test cricket


AFP, Bangalore :Afghanistan were handed a bruising introduction to Test cricket by India on Thursday as they capped their astonishing rise from war and refugee camps to joining the sport's elite.Afghan skipper Asghar Stanikzai called it a "very proud moment" as he strode onto the field at Bangalore's M. Chinnaswamy ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news