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There's not been a coup in Brazil





Da Rossa
Hi,

Just to give my view as a Brazilian of all of this. Our president, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended by the Brazilian Senate for up to 180 days. The VP is now in Office. Rousseff is left-wing socialist. Like all socialist lefties from Latin America leaving power these days, she claims to be a victim of a coup d'etat. It is not. She is accused of fiscal fraud and thus has been brought before the juridical-political court the Senate in a impeachment process. The subject matter itself is yet to be ruled by the Senate, which should complete its work within this 180 days.

She has rallied her allies, all from social movements to yell about being a victim of a coup, also because she is a woman, and also because she advocated for the poor, so this is would be a fraud orchestrated by "the elite". Only the impeachment process received 367 votes YES and 127 NO in the Lower House of Representatives. In the Senate, the voting was 55 vs. 22. The procedure itself was defined by the Brazilian Supreme Court. She had all the opportunities to argue her defense, what she did in every single step of the rite.

The facts that oxidized her political welfare were surfaced by the Federal Police. The accounting irregularities were discovered by the Federal Accounting Tribunal. Not to mention the VP himself, that was regularly voted on the same ticket. Now she accuses him of treason. All widely broadcast by TV, newspapers, online, social networks and international media.

If somehow the Brazilian left gives the international public opinion that this is a coup, then ask back: how on Earth can a coup have all those characteristics?
deanhills
Here's the thing though Da Rossa. She's accused of fiscal fraud before she became President. So how did she get voted to be President in the first place? Why did they only investigate her after she became president and not before?
SonLight
Suspending a president when charged, but not yet convicted, seems odd to me; but only because it differs from our (US) practice. When President Nixon was under attack, the US suffered substantially because he was still president but not able to act effectively. Yet penalizing a person not convicted of a crime is foreign to our system.

I suppose Rouseff thinks her chances of being cleared are better if people think she was treated unfairly. While impeachment could be primarily for political reasons, and if so should be considered a corrupt practice, it is clearly much different than a military coup. The word 'coup' does sometimes get used loosely, though, just meaning 'it was a set-up'.

@Deanhills, the important question here is whether the public that voted for her knew or believed that she was corrupt. I know in the US we've had Representatives who were in serious legal trouble yet were regularly re-elected. When citizens regularly vote known criminals into office, democracy will not last for long.
Da Rossa
Quote:
She's accused of fiscal fraud before she became President. So how did she get voted to be President in the first place?


Only one thing, she was not accused of fiscal fraud itself in the period prior to her term exactly because she wasn't the sitting president, thus she had no power. What she did before was sanctioning a devastating contract to acquire that refinery in Pasadena, TX, in 2005, for a price ~8 times the real value. But this was not the subject matter of the impeachment process. It helped, because she always claimed that 'she had no knowledge', which is not true, since she was a member in Petrobras Management Council.

Dean, that's the kind of question I get embarrassed, as a Brazilian, to be asked. But yes, her constituents just didn't care about this. Actually, they wouldn't care about anything or anyone as long as the successor is appointed by Lula himself. As the former president said, "I could get a street lamp elected if I supported it". Just as SonLight said.

But you got it wrong SonLight: she was found guilty by the very competent court for it: the Senate, to which the judgment of a impeachment is submitted to. Her removal was a consequence, not a precaution. The impeachment process here has a dual character: judicial and political.
tonberry
Wouldn't waste my nerves on her, it's like that every time scumbag gets caught!

To give you another example, here in Poland huge part of our political scene ruled for 8 years. Throughout this period, they did what all politicians did. Towards the end, they were so pompous and arrogant that they thought they're untouchable. And then the elections happened, they lost president and few months later their right-wing opposition has won the parliament and in a dominant fashion (didn't even need to form the coalition to rule). During our previous government's rules, they sent 2 million invigilation requests down the official channels (European high-score), dominated constitutional court with their own puppets, completely sweeped public TV etc. etc.

And now that they lost, suddenly freedom of speech in Poland is in danger! Basic human rights are broken every day! We're getting closer to a police state! Those very people who sank their teeth in this country as deep as they possibly could now do Europe tours, visiting newspapers from Germany to USA to wheep about the sad state of Poland, cry in European Union meetings, trying to shake the boat until democratically elected government drowns so they can get ahold of the steering wheel, no matter how much the country suffers as a result. To make things worse, the European elites play ball with them because they are spineless puppets interested in personal short-term gains only, they always did what EU said, and now the Brussels have lost their reliable stewards - our current government is arrogant, but they look for national interest to some extent, which is a welcome change for us. Not so much for the EU which already pays a bill for that change (our negotiations for new climatic regulations, Visegrad Group getting more united and vocal, strong rejection of automated illegal immigrant resettlements).

But it's not something to lose sleep over because it's been like that since forever Smile Check how Lenin, Stalin, Hitler campaigned. It's an old trick and a very good one! When one side presents itself as honorable and righteous, sooner or later the name starts to stick. If the other side is passive, it's only to their disadvantage. So by doing stuff like that, one side is forcing the other to play their game, and given that they made the first move, they're at an advantage.

She can say whatever she wants, it looks like she's going down and that's lovely Wink
deanhills
Da Rossa wrote:
Dean, that's the kind of question I get embarrassed, as a Brazilian, to be asked. But yes, her constituents just didn't care about this. Actually, they wouldn't care about anything or anyone as long as the successor is appointed by Lula himself. As the former president said, "I could get a street lamp elected if I supported it". Just as SonLight said.
I don't think this is unique to Brazil though. I guess there are a very large percentage of people all over the world who are embarrassed about their Government "leaders". What about Mubarak in Egypt who had been governing Egypt for 30 years before his constituents all of a sudden decided to get rid of him. Zuma from South Africa embezzled funds - treating Government money as his own and he is still in office. And so on. I think even the leaders of so called developed countries like the US are the same, except they're more clever at hiding things. Governments have steadily been defrauding their constituents, by fiddling with their currencies, and taxing their constituents to a state of poverty. In the US during the melt down of 2008 there was a huge shift of wealth from your middle class to the small percentage of super wealthy, who got even wealthier. And the super wealthy are backing US Government leaders with huge campaign contributions to election campaigns, leaders of whom are in their pockets. All of it supposedly legal of course. But for me it is very corrupt.
Da Rossa
Quote:
She can say whatever she wants, it looks like she's going down and that's lovely Wink


May God hear you, Ton! But what political group exactly are you talking about? Those guys who dominated the scene for the past 8 years?

Quote:
I don't think this is unique to Brazil though. I guess there are a very large percentage of people all over the world who are embarrassed about their Government "leaders". What about Mubarak in Egypt who had been governing Egypt for 30 years before his constituents all of a sudden decided to get rid of him. Zuma from South Africa embezzled funds - treating Government money as his own and he is still in office. And so on. I think even the leaders of so called developed countries like the US are the same, except they're more clever at hiding things. Governments have steadily been defrauding their constituents, by fiddling with their currencies, and taxing their constituents to a state of poverty. In the US during the melt down of 2008 there was a huge shift of wealth from your middle class to the small percentage of super wealthy, who got even wealthier. And the super wealthy are backing US Government leaders with huge campaign contributions to election campaigns, leaders of whom are in their pockets. All of it supposedly legal of course. But for me it is very corrupt.


None country shall be treated equally on this matter, this is unprecedented at least here in Brazil. And it is so unfortunate that the witch is doing this, just now that our institutions are beginning to get mature! I believe the first-world countries still don't see us as a democracy. We are, albeit defective.
SonLight
@Da Rossa,

It seems our systems differ enough to confuse me about President Rouseff's status. Like in the US, there seems to be two votes by the two legislative houses. In the US, the House Impeaches, or declares that there is sufficient evidence that a trial should be held. The Senate can vote to dismiss or convict. In the latter case, the president is immediately and permanently removed from office. The whole process of accusing and trying is also called impeachment, to further muddy the waters.

In Brazil's case, it appears that both House and Senate voted and President Rouseff stands convicted. Yet the matter is not yet at an end, as her removal from office is not necessarily permanent at this point, and the Senate will investigate further. Let me know if I've got it somewhere near right now, or tell me TLDR if the subtleties are still too great.

In the US, we are concerned to always know who is the president at any moment, especially since only he or she can authorize a nuclear retaliation. It was considered uncertain whether the president could ever step down temporarily and then be reinstated. As a result of the Nixon impeachment, our constitution was amended to make provision for a president to temporarily step down while unable to fulfill the obligations of the office and then be restored, but we are reluctant to test the process.
Da Rossa
Quote:
It seems our systems differ enough to confuse me about President Rouseff's status. Like in the US, there seems to be two votes by the two legislative houses. In the US, the House Impeaches, or declares that there is sufficient evidence that a trial should be held. The Senate can vote to dismiss or convict. In the latter case, the president is immediately and permanently removed from office. The whole process of accusing and trying is also called impeachment, to further muddy the waters.


So far nothing is different.

Quote:
In Brazil's case, it appears that both House and Senate voted and President Rouseff stands convicted. Yet the matter is not yet at an end, as her removal from office is not necessarily permanent at this point, and the Senate will investigate further. Let me know if I've got it somewhere near right now, or tell me TLDR if the subtleties are still too great.


Yes, the House of Congressmen (Lower House) just votes for the admission of the process. Then it sends to the Senate. Then there are two more votings: the first, with a smaller quorum, to confirm the HoC vote. But, if the majority votes for the admission here, then the president is suspended from office for up to 180 days. This is the deadline for the Senate to vote the second and definite time. This will be when the merit gets to be ruled upon.

Quote:
In the US, we are concerned to always know who is the president at any moment, especially since only he or she can authorize a nuclear retaliation. It was considered uncertain whether the president could ever step down temporarily and then be reinstated. As a result of the Nixon impeachment, our constitution was amended to make provision for a president to temporarily step down while unable to fulfill the obligations of the office and then be restored, but we are reluctant to test the process.


And your experience proves you're wise to be reluctant. This was made during Cold War. I know that scenario from the 24 show, especially seasons 2 and 6! Very Happy
tonberry
Da Rossa wrote:
May God hear you, Ton! But what political group exactly are you talking about? Those guys who dominated the scene for the past 8 years?


Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform), they had the parliament majority for two 4-year terms.

Quote:
I believe the first-world countries still don't see us as a democracy. We are, albeit defective.


From what I heard from people from various European countries, it looks like you have an image of a crime-rate-out-of-control country. Don't think I ever heard anyone saying anything condemning Brazil for freedom of speech, dictatorship-style government etc. but the subject of high crime, all the favela gangs and such is popular.
Da Rossa
You're right. The crime rates here are not skyrocketed, but already like a geostationary high-orbit satellite. Most of them because of the tolerance with drug-related crimes.
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