… demands exceptional solutions.
"I'm against this insane rupture! But I propose this other rupture instead. How about that?" (hypotetical argument)
2016 has been a terrible year for Brazilian young democracy. We can say that October 5th Brazil would complete 28 years of democratic stability.
All along President Dilma’s impeachment (coup d’etat) process, several politicians were advocating against this institutional rupture and in favor to calling early presidential elections to solve our political crisis. Most of them, if not all, were against impeaching President Dilma, but were sceptic about her little, or none, possibility to return to Office.
Even President Dilma herself wrote a letter proposing a referendum for calling early presidential elections in case she returned to office.
In May 2016, former President of Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF), Joaquim Barbosa, said the following about President Dilma’s impeachment process:
"My greatest fear is this... that will be easy, banal, trivial, to remove a President from Office from now on. If he goes against the interests of a handful of powerful congressmen will be enough reason to be removed."
He also said:
"I am radically in favor to calling for early presidential elections."
August 31st (yesterday) President Dilma was impeached. We had an institutional rupture, our constitutional pact was broken. Joaquim Barbosa is right, from now on the Rule of Law doesn’t matter if a handful of powerful political people dislikes the democratic elected President in Office.
The highest level of democracy is when the popular sovereignty imposes institutional limits to its own democratic power through a constituent power that creates a legal system founded by a Constitution. It seems a paradox, but it’s not. So, the “Constitution imposes itself as the manifestation of popular sovereignty and constituent power linking both.”
The respect for the Rule of Law (the Constitution), and its democratic institutions, is what reinforces that constituent popular sovereignty’s democracy. Constitution’s “limited” democracy is a virtuous cycle that helps society evolve and move forward towards those goals established by the constituent power.
This is why I was totally against the “early presidential elections” solution. Since I am a Law student, I’m not allowed to endorse solutions that goes against the Rule of Law. If we want our Constitution to be respected, we must be coherent and protect its integrity.
Now, I’m going to use Joaquim Barbosa’s arguments against himself:
"My greatest fear is this... that will be easy, banal, trivial, to call for early presidential elections whenever we want to remove a President from Office from now on. If he goes against the interests of a handful of powerful congressmen will be enough reason to call for early presidential elections."
If the Constitution was not being respected by the Impeachment process, it would not be respected by early presidential elections also. Both represent ruptures on our democratic institutions (there’s no Constitutional rule allowing early presidential elections in the Brazilian Constitution).
Now the scenario has changed. President Dilma is impeached. Since the institutional rupture has already happened and we’re living in a exceptional situation there’s no respect for the Constitution anymore.
Now we need early presidential elections like Brazilian people were chanting for back in 1984 (Diretas Já!).
But we must beware, now we need not only early presidential elections. It will do nothing on itself whithout a deep and serious political reform to change our hooked and corrupt political system.