The Federative Republic of Brazil, a nation with the 9th largest GDP faces one of its biggest economic struggles of its times. The Current President, Dilma Rousseff, has had some of the lowest approval and success ratings in Brazilian history. With the State of the Country in Shambles and the Economic, social, and political centers decreasing rapidly over time, president Rousseff’s cabinet faces one of its largest struggles possible and must work together.
In the 1960s, Brazil seemed to be in the “golden age” of its history. Double Digit economic growth and expanded political stability, military, industries, and products. Brazil was truly in paradise and was largely known as a “miracle economy”.
Brazil was on the edge of transitioning back towards democracy after its long periods of Military rule. However, despite all the progress that was being achieved in the 1960s, there continued to be a large amount of underlying problems that would continue to haunt the Federative Republic of Brazil. These problems included widespread inflation and the halting of economic expansion and investments all beginning in the 1980s.
Then in the 1990s, a second period of political instability took over Brazil when President Collor de Mello was implicated in an influence peddling scandal in 1992 which divided many parts of Brazil. Once VP Itamar Franco took power back of a very weak and divided Brazil, stagnant economic growth, industrial production problems, and Brazilian incomes were all hit hard as a result. Each Sector faced severe periods of stagnant growth or a decline in overall product.
In the early 1990s, Brazil tried to implement a series of economic reforms, most recognizable being, an attempt to shift state run monopolies to a free market system through the use of privatization. The one successful act was done by President Cardoso who implemented the “Real Plan” which brought about a change to Brazilian Currency. The plan reduced inflation by almost 70% and helped to bring foreign investment to the country.
In January 1999, investors lost confidence about Brazil’s overhauled currency and pulled out after they had suffered major losses in other emerging markets. The real plummeted as Brazil lost the ability to defend its currency by using dollar reserves to lift up the real.
The 2000s in Brazil were marked by protests by indigenous Indians claiming that “racial genocide, disease, and forced labor dramatically cut their population from an estimated 5 million before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500 to the current 350,000, and urged the government to address these past wrongs.” (BBC News) From this sparked action of the government to spend $40 B on development projects to help the impact on the Amazon. However, 2 major projects were shrouded in scandals as they were found out to be fake by the Natives.
Many issues which surround Brazil stem from The World Cup. In 2014, Brazil was the host the FIFA world cup. However, this competition was surrounded with protests, due to a negative GDP growth in both the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2014. 20,000 protesters took to the streets in late May following austerity measures imposed to make up for an inc in World Cup spending. Brazil even had to cancel speeches during the opening ceremony to avoid further protests.
Along with protest, rampant signs of fraud were uncovered. One being the “cost of construction showed a dramatic rise that could not be explained by increase in raw material costs, and some government auditors have pointed to fraudulent billing and overpricing. For example, the cost to build Brasilia’s World Cup stadium tripled to $900 million in public funds. In addition, while examining the components for the costs, auditors discovered that transportation costs for grandstands were accounted as $1.5m, which in reality would have cost just $4,700. Another interesting point is that companies awarded most World Cup construction contracts sharply increased their political donations. In fact, political donations from the main builder of Brasilia’s stadium increased almost 500 times in the 2010 general elections. Overall, the final cost of 11 stadiums for the Brazilian government was expected to be almost 4 times what was estimated in its bid to host the tournament in 2007” (“Brazil Audit: ‘corrupt World Cup Costs’” Al Jazeera English)
Along with all this controversy, Most of the stadiums were not even fully finished in time as well as only 10% of the proposed transportation projects were actually complete. And the ones that were complete led to a severe about of accidents and death and mortality rates to skyrocket in construction workers.
After the nightmare that was the 2014 World Cup for Brazil, all attention flocked towards the 2014 General election of Brazil. In one of its closest elections to date, President Rousseff managed to get elected once again as president. Many Business leaders hoped that Neves would be elected to tackle the problems with Brazilian economy due to his business focused policies. However,even after the election, Brazil continued to maintain its high dependence on exports and commodity prices. The whole economic situation for Brazil only continued to get weaker and weaker.
Finally, in late 2015 following the Petrobras scandal, Documents obtained during the course of the investigation revealed overpricing of construction contracts and donations to President Rousseff’s reelection campaign in 2014. In addition to donations, the additional windfall from these contracts also filled the pockets of politicians and Petrobras employees through kickbacks. Further, Rousseff was the chairperson of Petrobras when much of the suspected illicit activity happened, and calls for her impeachment. (What You Need to Know About Brazil’s Petrobras Scandal.” TeleSUR) ‘
With low prices for exports, rising inflation, and low public trust, Brazil has been experiencing its deepest economic recession in history. President Rousseff has lost all her support for her reign following the 2014 election loss of GDP and her Petrobras scandal. Brazilian economy has been in a recession since the end of 2014 with inflation above 10% and unemployment having reached 9%. It is predicted that Brazilian economy will continue to shrink again in 2016.
It is currently May 12th, 2016 and the Brazilian Senate has voted in favor of putting President Dilma Rousseff on trial on allegations that she unlawfully manipulated fiscal accounts. While she fervently denies the charges, 55 senators voted for the trial while 22 voted against. As part of the proceedings, President Rousseff will have to step down for up to 180 days while the trial is in progress.
How will this cabinet react to all the problems facing Brazil, especially with impeachment trials approaching and the 2016 Olympic games in the near future. This cabinets goal will be to get Brazil back on its feet as well as to stop these problems from happening once more.
Questions to Consider:
- How will this cabinet approach these impeachment trials?
- Considering the problems which affected the 2014 World Cup, How can Brazil make sure that the 2016 Olympic games do not have the same effect?
- How can public trust be instilled in the people?
- What will be your first plan of action?
- What can be done to avoid more imminent protests that have to probability to turn violent?
- How can Brazil get foreign investing back in its country?
|Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, & Supply||Blairo Maggi|
|Minister of Communications||Andre Figueiredo|
|Minister of Culture||Marcelo Calero|
|Minister of Defense||Raul Belens Jungmann Pinto|
|Minister of Education||Mendonco Filho|
|Minister of Finance||Henrique Meirelles|
|Minister of Foreign Relations||Jose Serra|
|Minister of Health||Riccardo Barros|
|Minister of Industry, External Commerce, & Services||Marcos Pereira|
|Minister of Labor||Ronaldo Nogueria|
|Minister of Mines & Energy||Fernando Coelho Filho|
|Minister of the Environment||Jose Sarney Filho|
|Minister of Tourism||Marx Beltrao|
|Minister of Transparency, Monitoring, & Control||Torquato Jadim|
|Minister of Transportation, Ports, & Civil Aviation||Mauricio Quintella|
|Minster of Justice & Citizenship||Alexandre de Moraes|
|Minster of Science, Technology & Innovation||Gilberto Kassab|
|President of the Central Bank||Ilan Goldfajn|
This simulation will operate as a semi-crisis committee. The first stage of this committee will be to form an agenda. Delegates should come prepared with agenda items he or she would like discussed in this cabinet meeting. Items will be added to the official agenda by majority vote. The agenda will close for new items after there are 8 items OR the committee votes to adopt the agenda (also by simple majority), whichever happens first.
Once the agenda has been adopted, the meeting will proceed through the agenda. The cabinet will debate, adopt proposals, or take action on each agenda item following the order of the set agenda. Any member may motion to table a topic (an agenda item) by getting two seconds and a simple majority vote. The cabinet will progress through the agenda in this fashion until all items have been discussed. At any time, a member of the cabinet may motion to add a new topic to the agenda, but will require 2/3 majority to be added.
The simulation will operate in a semi-moderated caucus. This means there is no need to propose moderated caucus topics, as debate will naturally occur in a moderated format. The chair may at times allow delegates to debate with one another without being called on or may elect to ask to hear from a member. Delegates may motion for unmoderated caucus time.