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Brazilian Politics. Leigh Anne Alford, Emily Behncke , Sofia Leon, Janet Mozaffari. Governmental Structure. Union of 3 Distinct Political Entities (“spheres of government”): The States The Municipalities The Federal District Federation is set on 5 fundamental principles: Sovereignty

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Brazilian politics

Brazilian Politics

Leigh Anne Alford, Emily Behncke, Sofia Leon, Janet Mozaffari

Governmental structure
Governmental Structure

Union of 3 Distinct Political Entities (“spheres of government”):

The States

The Municipalities

The Federal District

Federation is set on 5 fundamental principles:



Dignity of human beings

Social Values of labour and freedom of enterprise

Political pluralism

Classic Branches of Government (under checks and balances):




Governmental structure1
Governmental Structure

  • Form of Government: Democratic Republic

  • President (Dilma Rousseff): Head of State and Head of Government

  • Legislative houses are main source of law in Brazil

  • National Congress consists of Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate

  • Largest Political parties represented in Congress:

  • Workers Party (PT)

  • Democrats (DEM)

  • Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB-center)

  • Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB)

  • Progressive Party (PP)

  • Brazilian Labor Party (PTB)

  • Liberal Party (PL)

  • Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB)

  • Popular Socialist Party (PPS)

  • Democratic Labor Party (PDT)

  • Communist Party of Brazilian (PCdoB)

Lula s brazil
Lula’s Brazil

  • Served as President from 2003 – 2010

  • Founding member of Worker’s Party

  • Focus on social reform projects (Fome Zero, BolsaFamilia, etc)

  • Rapid increase in foreign trade/diversifying relations with foreign governments

  • Held 80% approval rating during his presidency

  • Brought 21M Brazilians out of poverty since 2003 & created a record 15M jobs

“I ran for president because I was certain I could do what I

was waiting for others to do for me.”

O presidente
O Presidente

  • One year into Presidency

  • Society First, Market Second Philosophy

  • Increased average grant of BolsaFamilia by 20%

  • Promises to move all 16M Brazilians above the poverty line by end of first term in 2016

  • Distanced herself from Lula’s more exotic foreign policy initiatives (e.g. pulled troops out of Haiti)

  • Maintain lid on spending

Brazilian law
Brazilian Law

Federal Constitution was promulgated on October 5, 1988 and forms the basis for Brazilian law

-Organized as a Federative Republic

-There have been 53 amendments

-States (26) have their own constitutions

Highest court is the Supreme Federal Court

Supreme Federal Tribunal was the first court in the world to transmit its session on TV and on YouTube

In December 2009, Supreme Court even began using Twitter to display schedules and share most important decisions made

Brazilian military
Brazilian Military

Largest armed force in Latin America (328,000 members)

3 branches of Brazilian military:

1. Brazilian Army (236,000 personnel)

2. Brazilian Navy (only Navy in Latin America to operate an aircraft carrier)

3. Brazilian Air Force (700 manned aircraft)

States’ Military Police operates as ancillary force of the Army but is under the control of the individual state governors

Itamaraty s foreign policy
Itamaraty’s Foreign Policy

  • Headcount increased:

    • 300 extra diplomats under Lula, similar plan under DilmaRoussef

    • Brazil now has more diplomatic missions in Africa than Britain

  • Strengthening ties with other Latin American countries

    • Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosul) & Union of South American Nations

    • Multinational U.N. stabilization force in Haiti, the MINUSTAH

    • Lula offered uncritical backing to Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Cuba’s Castro brothers

Itamaraty s foreign policy1
Itamaraty’s Foreign Policy

  • Assert itself as a countervailing force to US political and economic influence in Latin America

    • Multilateral diplomacy through the UN, OAS

    • Iranian efforts @June 2010: Brazil placed itself in between the US and Iran in an attempt to create a resolution to Iran’s nuclear situation in association with Turkey to form an amicable solution that would repel the Americans and Europeans from taking a hard stance on Iran’s nuclear program. WHY TRY? Lula, a former trade-union leader, fancied himself as the man to talk Iran into obeying the world’s nuclear rules, thinking sanctions will bring that effort to nought.

    • Euro Crisis @Fall 2011: Brazilian officials also suggested Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa should come to the aid of the eurozone by buying the region’s bonds.

    • Unrealistic currency war @Sept 2011: Proposing changes to WTO rules that for actions to be taken against countries that devalue their currency to artificially increase exports

Itamaraty s foreign policy2
Itamaraty’s Foreign Policy

  • Will these actions backfire?

    • The United States Congress may be even less willing to support the elimination of a tariff on Brazil’s sugar-based ethanol, for example

    • Will Brazil gain a permanent seat on the Security Council?

  • United States Congress may be even less willing to support the elimination of a tariff on Brazil’s sugar-based ethanol