Brazil’s Referendum Fever: Congress Gets More than 300 Proposals

The Brazilian referendum on banning firearms and ammunition sales revived the debate on how to enlarge popular participation in political decision-making in Brazil.

Many lawmakers promise to work to make popular consultations a frequent phenomenon. There are 300 proposals before the National Congress for referenda and plebiscites.

The themes calling for popular consultation include the conversion of the regime into a parliamentary form of government, the São Francisco River basin integration project, the legalization of abortion, the cancellation of agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), foreign debt payment, the process of privatizing state enterprises, and the creation of new states.

In the Chamber alone there are four bills calling for a plebiscite to reduce from 18 to 16 the age for treating criminal offenders as adults.

The author of one of these bills is deputy Luiz Antônio Fleury (PTB-SP), vice-president of the Parliamentary Front for the Right of Legitimate Self-Defense, the group that defended the "no" vote on ending firearms and ammunition sales.

The opinion issued by the rapporteur of the bill, deputy Luiz Eduardo Greenhalgh (PT-SP), opposed reducing the age for treating criminal offenders as adults. Greenhalgh considers the bill unconstitutional.

"Moreover, I am thoroughly convinced that the reduction for purposes of penal accountability will in no way improve the country’s crime index, nor will it contribute to the preservation of youth and adolescents and the socio-educational recovery of juvenile delinquents," the PT deputy affirms in his opinion.

"In Spain, recently, the government was obliged to revise this question, restoring the penal age, which had previously been lowered to 14, to 18."

In his bill in favor of lowering the age of penal adulthood, deputy Fleury says that "there exists a global trend to lower the age, recognizing that 16 or 17 year old minors already understand the facts of life [sufficiently] to be held responsible for their behavior."

No matter what questions are submitted to popular consultation, various specialists are in favor of expanding the number of plebiscites and referenda in Brazil.

Prior to last Sunday’s (23) referendum, only two plebiscites had been held in the country in all of Brazil’s 500-year history. One of them in 1963, to choose the political system (parliamentary or presidential), and the other in 1993, to choose the political system and regime (republican or monarchical).

In referenda, citizens express their views on laws that are already in force, while. in plebiscites, they vote on rules to be applied in the future.

Agência Brasil

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Lula Recognizes Economy Has Been Weak

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Monday, January 30, that 2006 will ...

Brazilian Police Burns 4 Tons of Cocaine and Marijuana

The Civil Police of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil, ...

Venezuelan Proposal to Limit Freedom of Press in South America Alarms Brazil

To the already charged agenda of South America's Unasur summit, which opens this Monday ...

Brazil Asked to Pay More than Double (US$ 8) for Bolivian Gas

Bolivia is asking Brazil to pay US$ 8 for the natural gas it pumps at ...

Brazil and US Prepare Meeting Between Presidents Lula and Obama

During the first official meeting in Washington of a Latin American representative with the ...

I’m Black, I’m Poor, I’m Not Brazil

During the past few months, I have spent my free time traveling around Brazil, ...

With 20 Parties, Everyone Gets Something from Brazil Municipal Elections

With more than 20 official political parties, election results in Brazil are always mixed. ...

Americans and Brazilian Immigrants Flock South in Search of Brazilian Dream

Brazilian immigrants are returning home to a bustling economy that offers better financial opportunities ...

Letters

Let’s skip the genitalia As a Brazilian Woman I must inform you, since you ...