RIGA, Feb 17 (LETA) – Real estate developers are concerned about amendments prepared by the Justice Ministry, which stipulate a significant reduction in

You seize control of your country in a coup, you have absolute power. What would you do, what reforms do you implement?

Elections

  • The 26 States and the Federal District shall be divided in constituencies with roughly two million inhabitants each. States with fewer than 4 million inhabitants shall have slightly smaller constituencies and states with fewer than 2 million inhabitants shall have only one constituency for the whole state. Each constituency turns up five MPs for the Chamber of Deputies. Constituency borders shall be drawn according to the Shortest Splitline Method, with oversight form a federal non-partisan agency designed for that purpose. This map shows the number of constituencies each state gets:

Yes, Paulistas are going to own a fifth of Congress and we’re not sorry.

  • MPs are to be elected by Mixed Member Proportional Representation. In election day voters shall cast one vote for a party and another vote for a candidate. Seats shall be alloted to parties first, and those parties who reach the 20% threshold will be assigned seats. The first candidate on the party’s list gets the first seat, the second candidate gets the second, and so on. A party list ranks its candidates from the most to least voted and cannot be changed. Candidates shall retain their place on the party list even if they are kicked from the party, but shall lose it if they switch parties, resign, or are removed from office by the Judiciary.
  • Parties may form coalitions, but only after the elections are held and the votes counted. Once a party joins a coalition it is bound to remain on it until the next election cycle.
  • Senators shall henceforth be appointed by State Legislatures. The Senate loses its prerogatives to perform indictments and decide on financial affairs. No sessions of the Senate shall be secret, except for hearings for diplomatic personnel bound for foreign consulates and embassies, and even then Senators’ votes shall be made public.
  • No secret vote may be held in the Chamber of Deputies.
  • State Legislatures shall become bicameral, with State Senates having 13 members elected in state-wide races and State Representatives being elected in state constituencies (5 for each) the number of which shall be determined by the current number of mesoregions in each State.

Government:

  • There shall still be a President to be the Head of State. The system, however, shall be changed from Presidentialism to Parliamentarism, and the Head of Government shall be a Chancellor, who is to be the leader of the victorious party in the last general election.
  • Congress may give its vote of no confidence to a government, in which case they shall be removed from office and new elections shall be held.
  • No snap elections.
  • The Cabinet, appointed by the Chancellor, shall be composed of:
    • The Chancellor him/herself.
    • The Vice-Chancellor.
    • The Minister of Finance.
    • The Minister of Education.
    • The Minister of Health.
    • The Minister of Defence.
    • The Minister of Foreign Relations.
    • The Minister of the Interior.
    • The Minister of Justice.
    • The Minister of Labour.
    • The Minister of Infrastructure and Communications.
    • The Minister of Culture.
    • The Minister of the Enviroinment.
      • All other Ministries are to be either extinguished, be merged with one of the above, or lose their status as Ministries altogether.
  • All elected offices down from councillors to the President shall earn three times the minimum wage.
  • The captain goes down with the ship and so does the mate.
  • If the Judiciary impeaches a congressperson, it no longer needs Congress to vote in order to confirm the loss of the convict’s mandate.

Administrative divisions:

  • The traditional spheres of power (Federal-State-Municipality) shall be reformed with some additions:
    • Districts, which currently are small towns or villages within a municipality governed by an appointed sub-mayor, shall earn more autonomy by means of electing 10 district councillors (with identical functions to those of city councillors) and a district chief, who shall preside over the district council and have the executive functions there. District councils shall be able to legislate in matters of local education, infrastructure, healthcare and sanitation, but matters of policing shall be left to the municipality.
    • Microrregions, which are groups of neighbouring municipalities, shall be renamed as Local Districts, and become more autonomous. Each municipality shall elect 5 councillors for a Local Districtal Council, and the electors from all over the Local District shall elect a Local District Chief. Local Districts shall be responsible for coordinating efforts and projects across its constituent municipalities, such as infrastructure, energy, education, healthcare, sanitation, disaster relief, etc. Decisions taken at Local District level are to be enforced in of all the constituent municipalities. The seat of the Local Council shall be located in the most populous city within it.
    • Mesoregions, which are composed by microrregions, shall be renamed State Districts. The city councils of each municipality within the Mesoregion shall appoint one councillor for a State District Council. It shall not legislate, but help coordinate efforts between the State Government and the Local Districts and municipalities. Its seat is to be located in the most populous city within it.
    • Metropolitan Regions shall have a Metropolitan Council to which every constituent municipality shall countribute 5 councillors, and a Metropolitan Mayor shall be elected by voters from all across the Metropolis. Their status shall be similar to that of Local Districts, except that Metropolitan Regions have more power to legislate and enforce matters concerning all of the constituent municipalities. Metropolitan Regions and Local Districts can, and do, overlap. Metropolitan Regions spanning across State lines can’t enforce laws in all of its municipalities if those laws happen to contradict the Constitutions of the States to which any of the constituent municipalities belong.

Economic policy, Tax policy

  • Abolition of improvement contributions.
  • Abolition of the inter-state trade tax.
  • The gas tax shall go into a fund dedicated exclusively to infrastructure.
  • The car ownership tax shall become a federal tax and go into a fund dedicated to expanding collective transport.
  • The rural and urban real estate taxes are to be unified. Districts shall share their real estate tax revenue 50/50 with their municipality. Municipalities shall share their real estate tax revenue 90/10 with their Local District.
  • Municipal taxes shall be unified or abolished in order to fit certain categories, to wit: Water and Sanitation; Fire Brigade and Security; Human and Enviroinmental Health; Infrastructure; Miscellaneous. Those taxes shall go into funds dedicated exclusively for those purposes.
  • The corporate tax and capital gains tax shall both be set at a flat rate of 20%.
  • Deregulation of street vendor businesses, especially at municipal level.
  • 80% of the royalties of oil and all minerals shall go into education, 20% into healthcare.
  • Creation of a carbon tax, that shall go into a fund dedicated exclusively to enviroinmental protection.
  • Creation of a sugar tax, that shall go into a fund dedicated exclusively to healthcare.
  • No tax exemption for churches. Church taxes shall go into a fund dedicated exclusively to education.
  • Zero tolerance with corporations delaying the payment of taxes and labour benefits. And fines.
  • Zero tolerance with corporations proved to have used slave labour, labour in slave-like conditions, and/or child labour. Tougher sentences are to be assigned to the executives and collaborators who enabled those crimes. The assets of such corporations are to be confiscated and auctioned, the incomes put into a fund destined to education.
  • The income tax on yearly income shall be distributed as follows:
    • Less than R$ 30.000 a year: exempt.
    • R$ 30.000/year or more: 15% tax.
    • R$65.000 /year or more: 20% tax.
    • R$ 100.000/year or more: 25% tax.
    • R$ 500.000/year or more: 35% tax.
    • R$ 1.000.000/year or more: 55% tax.
      • Those earning over R$ 5.000.000/year have the option of investing the income beyond that threshold domestically or paying an aditional 20% in income tax.
  • The inheritance tax on goods, assets, real estate and amounts over R$5.000.000 shall be 25%. It is to be directed to a fund dedicated exclusively to healthcare.
  • The property transfer tax for goods, assets, real estate and amounts over R$5.000.000 shall be 50%. It is to be directed to a fund dedicated exclusively to infrastructure.
  • The tax for transfers of goods, assets, real estate and amounts over R$5.000.000 to bank accounts, corporations, or individuals abroad shall be 75%. It is to be directed to a fund dedicated exclusively to education.
  • Tougher enviroinmental regulations and likewise harsher punishments in the form of fines, imprisonments, and confiscations towards individuals and corporations who violate them.
  • Federal overhaul of national infrastructure with emphasis on developing railways and waterways to reduce dependency in highway transport. Subsidies for municipalities to improve bus, bicycle, metro, tram and boat transport in cities to reduce dependency on cars and motorcycles.
  • Federal investiment on sun, wind, and tidal power, especially installation of sun power for water heating in individual homes.

Foreign policy:

  • Having an actual foreign policy. Alignment with the United States in a must – because it’s the only option. The Itamaraty must work to assert Brazil no longer as a subservient client, but as a junior partner -not equals, though; we are not equals, for we are not equals in power. Which means having a more active role in world politics and doing as much of the following as we can get away with:
    • South-South integration, especially with Latin American and African nations. Removal of barriers to movement of persons and goods between those countries and us, promotion of trade, increased cultural exchange, cooperation in a variety of fields such as science, agriculture, academia, etc.
    • Further commitment to the BRICS. Pushing for the stronger bonds between the member states and for the creation and expansion of its own financial institutions.
    • Further commitment to Mercosur, and hopefully save it before it’s dead.
    • Latin-American integration, following the general lines of South-South integration but with more emphasis in removing trade barriers and increasing cultural exchange. Promotion of programs for exchange students to go to other Latin American countries and vice-versa.
    • Rapprochement with Portugal and other Lusitan countries, seeking to assert Brazilian influence in the Lusosphere, brigde the cultural exchange gap between Brazil and the other Lusophone countries. It is important to have an ally inside the European Union in the form of Portugal.

Military:

  • It’s not underfunded, but it’s overly mismanaged. It is not to be defunded, nor is it to be infused with money, but have its finances sanitized.
  • Universal male conscription shall be maintained. Would-be conscripts that enroll in university or suffer from health impediments by the time they are 18 shall still be dismissed, but investiment is necessary to ensure that the conscripts who actually go to training have the best possible quality of training. Besides physical and combat training, the conscripts’ time in the military will also involve civics education and technical courses and apprenticeships for jobs useful both for the military and the labour market. Gifted students who become conscripts will be offered enrollment in military academies and institutes and in the reserve officers’ programme.
  • Provide updated hardware to the military seeking a balance between quality, quantity, and cost effectiveness, and invest in military technology institutes to help reduce dependence in foreign military technology.
  • Improve national security and intelligence services at least to the point that the President’s phone doesn’t get casually spied on.
  • Thighten civilian control of the military. It’s already better now than it’s ever been before, but it’s never too much to make sure that our military won’t be owned by foreign powers once more.
  • Modestly increase Brazilian presence in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Education:

  • Overhaul and reform the school system. A central commitee of education experts (i.e. the complete opposite of what the current administration assembled) is to ellaborate a national public education curriculum that is to be applied down from the primary schools to the federal universities and set the gold standard for education in all Brazilian schools, public and private.
  • Expansion of integral education, with activities such as sports, dance, arts, music, and technical courses being an integral part of the curriculum. Balance between Humanities, Exact Sciences and Biological Sciences – not the slashing on Humanities that has been done by the present administration.
  • Increased federal investiment -and oversight – in federal universities so as to increase both the offer of vacancies and the quality of education. Federal subsidies and subsidised loans to help students enroll in private universities. Federal subsidies to state universities and for states and municipalities to improve and expand high school, middle school and primary education.
  • Organiation of a nationwide programme for erradicating illiteracy in the country, in which the federal government shall gather paid professionals, volunteers, and provide the necessary material and logistics to carry it out.
  • All elected offices and public job positions will demand that candidates pass a test based in the curriculum of the public school system before they can be hired.
  • Teachers of any kind may not in any circumstances be paid less than four times the minimum wage.
  • Schools shall teach the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, History, Philosophy (that guy included), Sex Education, religions that aren’t Christianity, and so on. If your squeamish religious and ideological oversensitiveness is hurt by any of that, put your kid in a private religious school – if you can afford it. Freedom of speech means you are allowed to whine about “indoctrination”, but the law shan’t concern itself with your feelings.
  • Federal investiment in technology, science and research institutes, with the creation of more such institutes. National competitions shall be held and prizes shall be awarded to innovative projects.
  • Stricter discipline in schools and elaboration of a national school rulebook. Re-institution of civics education as a regular part of the curriculum. Students shall take part in maintenance, cleaning, cooking, and other vital day-to-day activities.
  • Creation of an all-Brazilian confederation of student unions. Each school shall have its own student union to allow the students to have a degree of autonomy and self-organization, so as to better cooperate with school management in projects. Membership in those unions shall be optional, the existance of one in every school shall not.

Healthcare:

  • Overhaul and reform of the SUS.
  • Massive sanitation, vaccination, and prevention programs all across the country, to improve profilaxy and hygiene habits, so as to reduce the need for medicine and medical treatment.
  • Containment of antibiotic abuse.
  • Tougher regulations against business practices that result in health hazards for employees and other people, with likewise tougher sanctions against corporations who violate them.
  • Massive expansion and federal investiment into the More Doctors programme so as to improve healthcare access in remote areas.

Miscellaneous:

  • Adopt German beer quality standards.