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Transparency is Promoted and Debated in the Brazilian Election Process

Transparencia Brasil
The call for transparency is ringing in the Lusosphere these days. Brazilian presidential and general elections are six weeks from now and, after the innumerable corruption scandals involving congressmen and executive officials, the push for truth has become a vigorous movement on the Internet. The issue was on top of recent blog searches with the launching of a new web site service offering comprehensive information about the candidates. But, as you will see below, there is not always a clear agreement about transparency.

projeto Excelências, da Transparência Brasil (perfil.transparencia.org.br), está experimentando uma visitação média de 15 consultas por segundo durante os últimos dez dias. São cobertos candidatos de todos os estados e de todos os partidos, e as informações prestadas são todas de domínio público. Incluem os processos judiciais a que respondem. O projeto tem o intuito de propiciar ao eleitor uma comparação direta entre os desempenhos desses candidatos, para assim melhor se orientar quanto ao voto.
Investida estapafúrdia, por Claudio AbramoBlog do Noblat

… the Excelence Project, from Transparência Brasil (perfil.transparencia.org.br), , is getting an average of 15 visits per second in the last ten days. Candidates of all states and parties are covered and all the available information is public domain. The project lists all processes and lawsuits related to the candidates, and aims to provide voters with better judgement parameters.
Weird Onslaught, by Claudio AbramoNoblat's Blog


Conforme noticiado pela imprensa ontem, o PT de São Paulo entrou com notícia crime contra a Transparência Brasil por esta manter, na Internet e em outros veículos de comunicação, a campanha “Não vote em mensaleiro” (e sanguessugas, piranhas etc.). Alega o PT que a campanha teria objetivo eleitoralmente prejudicial a seus próprios candidatos. Pera aí, “xovê” se eu entendi: A campanha contra o voto em corruptos prejudica os candidatos do PT? Quer disser que eles admitem que são corruptos e mesmo assim se candidataram? Sei não mas isso está um pouco complicado demais p'ra mim.
PT quer processar Transparência BrasilDevaneios de uma mente doentia

As reported yesterday, the Sao Paulo section of PT (Workers Party) has filled a lawsuit against ‘Transparência Brasil’ because of the terms used in its campaign ‘No vote for mensaleiros‘ (and leeches, and piranhas, etc). PT alleges that the campaign is harming its candidates. Now, let me see if I understood: A campaing that warns us against voting in corrupt ones harms PT candidates? So they admit that they are corrupts and are still candidates? Well, it's too complicated for me to understand.
PT filled lawsuit against Transparência BrasilWanderings of a sick mind

Although still far from really understanding how to politically exploit the opportunities presented by the blogosphere, Brazilian politicians are establishing a definite presence. In a moment where many strict electoral rules enforce a low profile use of TV and other traditional media, the web presents itself as the wild and deregulated area to be conquered (or spammed?). That is the reason why an excitement and urgency can be felt in the web teams in charge of developing electoral strategies — they are the ones paid to do the job.

Apart from the actual candidates some well known political characters who were under heavy fire during the last year seem to have achieved a better understanding about how blogs can help. Two launches in the last month are the very symbol of this new awareness: José Dirceu, Lula's former all-powerful government Chief of Staff is blogging; and alsoRoberto Jefferson, the arch rival ex-congressman who denounced the ‘big monthly‘ and kick-started the political crisis that turned the country upside down. Seems that blog as political rescuer is already a well understood mode in Brazil, although it may not always be in tune with transparency.

O objetivo deste blog é ser um espaço democrático de discussão do projeto nacional em desenvolvimento, de reflexão sobre o futuro do país, de disputa política e de expressão da luta social.
Blog do Zé Dirceu

The main goal of this blog is to establish a democratic space for debate about a national development project, for reflections about the country's future, for political dispute and also for the expression of the social struggle.
Zé Dirceu's Blog

O deputado Wellington Fagundes disponibilizou cópia de sua defesa jurídica no caso das “sanguessugas” para consulta pública. Em uma prova de transparência e respeito ao povo mato-grossense, o parlamentar disponibiliza para download os documentos encaminhados para CPI que, ao não analisar as provas acabou incluindo erroneamente o nome de Wellinton entre os supostos envolvidos com a máfia.
Wellington disponibiliza defesa jurídica para consultawelintonfagundes.com.br

Congressman Wellington Fagundes has published a copy of his defense in the ‘leeches’ scandal for public consideration on the web. As proof of respect and transparency to the people of [the Brazilian State of] Mato-Grosso, all documents sent to the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry are available for download. As those documents were not well analysed by the commission, Wellinton's name was wrongly listed among the others involved in the scandal.
Wellington publishes his defensewelintonfagundes.com.br

From the viewpoint of Lula's government, as soon as the crisis exploded, transparency started to be seen as the only way out of the crisis. The web was soon perceived as the right place to implement the strategy.

O governo federal através da CGU Controladoria Geral da União está aperfeiçoando e disponibilizando informações que permita o cidadão comum e as entidades da sociedade civil executarem o que se chama de controle social da utilização das verbas públicas. Está funcionando com dados bastante detalhados e interessantes sobre os repasses aos municípios e aos governos estaduais.
Portal da transparênciaBlog do Roberto Moraes

The federal government through the Union General Control Agency is perfecting and publishing information that will allow the social control of public resources allocation by the ordinary citizen. It is already online with interesting and detailed data about the resources sent to state and municipal governments.
Transparency PortalBlog do Roberto Moraes

Brazilians are living times where hope invariably gets mixed up with despair. There are some commentators who use to brag about the country's ability of leaping over the industrial logic and development of the twentieth century by connecting the old and the new with a direct link. Although some interesting facts exist which back this theory, there are undeniable risks involved in being over-confident in the Internet-hyped promises of instant democracy. Still, we know no better recipe for transparency than pushing for public political revelation and participation through the social media tools we've come to know and love.

O Brasil foi o primeiro país a ter o processo de apuração eleitoral cem por cento eletrônico. Fomos o primeiro país do mundo a ter também cem por cento da declaração do imposto de renda entregue via internet. Nós, sociedade civil, também podemos inventar e criar marcos novos usando a tecnologia de informação a nosso favor. Nós, entre os 20 milhões de brasileiros que já usam a internet, podemos, ser os pioneiros de uma nova forma de cidadania digital.
Vamos fazer a diferença nas Eleições 2006Bússola Digital

Brazil was the first country to have the totality of its electoral process managed in electronic media. We were the first ones to have income tax declarations a hundred percent received by the Internet. We, as a civil society, could also create new frameworks using information technology in our favor. We, among the 20 million of Brazilians who already use the Internet, could be the pioneers of a new mode of digital citizenship.
We are going to make a difference in 2006 electionsDigital Compassing

Deixe de se sentir como vítima. Vivemos um novo tempo, cheio de possibilidades para o indivíduo. Mais informação, maior capacidade de se articular em redes, maior capacidade de fazer desta uma eleição diferente graças a uma minoria animada. Aquela que, com sabedoria e liderança, democraticamente, faz a maioria dançar. Vá de Google. Navegue. Interaja. Circule seus e-mails. Publique seus posts em blogs. Se estivermos interessados mesmo em fazer acontecer uma ruptura com o que está aí, o ponto de partida é começar a produzir rupturas dentro de nossos próprios cotidianos como indivíduos. Bem-vindo aos tempos da ação cidadã digital.
Bem-vindo à era da cidadania digital, por Ricardo NevesRevista Época / Especial Transparência

Stop seeing yourself as a victim. We live in a new world, full of possibilities for the individual. More information, more network articulation capacity offer better chances to make a difference in these elections as a result of an enlivened minority. Those who develop wise and democratic leadership will manage to make the majority dance. Do google. Surf. Interact. Make your messages roll. Publish your posts in blogs. If we are really interested in making the disruptive move in front of the present situation, the starting point is beginning to produce disruptive moves in our own routines as individuals. Welcome to the times of digital citizenship action.
Welcome to the digital citizenship age, by Ricardo NevesÉpoca Magazine / Transparency Special

The transparency concept has been in the center of a recent debate in the blogosphere powered by a post from David Weinberger, one of its main ideologues. While it may not be directly connected with the transparent quality we've been talking about in this post, it sure gives us a hint about the complexities this debate reveals. Institutions and individuals are not always under the same rules in the real world, and the web is the place where it all blends. We keep learning.

..Except it's important that we preserve some shadows. Opaqueness in the form of anonymity protects whistleblowers and dissidents, women being beaten by their husbands, girls looking for abortion advice, people working through feelings of shame about who they are, and more. Anonymity and pseudonymity allow people to participate on the Web who perhaps aren't as self-confident as the loudest voices we hear there. It's even been known to enable snarky bloggers to comment archly on their industry, even if sometimes they play too rough.
David Weinberger in a guest posted piece about Transparency and OpaquenessStrumpette

The Internet is a brightly lit place, but we need to remember that the brightest lights seem to create the darkest shadows. It's not the people lurking in the shadows that make them seem dark, however: it's the power of the light. And like all power, even light can be destructive if applied in the wrong way.
David Weinberger on Transparency and Opaqueness/Message

Whether transparency and participation by the citizenry of the Lusosphere on the Internet will emerge as a creative or destructive political force is something we can learn about as the Brazilian national election process unfolds. How will the great diversity of many partisan and passionate voices of the Lusosphere's largest population play into the new Internet-linked democratic process? This is what we will be watching and reporting about.

1 comment

  • […] a anonimidade como default na rede. Re-encontrei o link em um post que publiquei no Global Voices sobre transparência, e me parece interessante apresentar aqui a argumentação do Joho. Afinal, instituições e […]

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