Even those who have never read The Trial of Franz Kafka (1883–1924) can understand what the Kafkaesque position is all about. For example, the Houce dictionary defines it as a condition that “produces an atmosphere of nightmare, absurdity, especially in a bureaucratic context that eschews any logic or rationality”. This is how the legislative power of Brazil works. The Parliament here should be a place for extensive and in-depth discussion, but it has become a meat grinder. The volume of projects processed in the Chamber alone is more than 7,000 annually, of which more than 1,000 are related to the economy alone. This means, in a simple calculation, that deputies would need to evaluate five proposals per working day, in order to discuss only the paths identified as being important to the Brazilian economy.
The problem is that between the presentation of the proposal and the approval of the text there is a path, or rather, a great process. There are at least 47 variables that can jam the text. And they would have at least one of five commissions to look into obstruction of opposition lawmakers requesting the bill to pass. Result of this? a poor efficiency.
To give you an idea, from January 2019 to March 2022, 3,100 motions for bills, provisional measures, proposals to amend the constitution, supplementary legislation project, law reversal project, project to create CPI and other variations just for the economy. Of this amount, only 116 (or 3.6%) were duly approved by the Chamber. When thinking about the next two steps (federal Senate and presidential approval), approval narrows down to just 49 texts, or 1.5% of ideas conversion to new rules to benefit the economy. The result of all this: disappointing parliamentary productivity.
“I’ve been in Parliament for 27 years and I know how things work there” Jair Bolsonaro, President.
And the philosophical problem that could have inspired Kafka begins at exactly that moment. If Brazil already has so many laws and obligations, then passing some laws is a good thing for the country. Correct? Wrong. At least 30% of the texts presented are aimed at reducing bureaucracy, facilitating taxation or simplifying the operation of specific sectors and chains. The problem is that to reach this relevant 30% there are many absurd projects ranging from suspension of stock exchanges to forfeiture of 10% of profits of companies in situations of public calamity. For the so-called liberal Congress, this proves that reading politico-economic theory is not the strong point of our lawmakers.
There is still a vast amount of very specialized projects that are masked financially, but have minimal relevance. They are calling for the city to become the “chicken capital with polenta”, a move to ban violent games and alternatives made by religious and another in which private transport drivers face fines for carrying drunk passengers. are liable for. And all these idioms have been documented in recent months. “I spent years in parliament and I know how difficult the duty of a deputy is, but we have to learn to communicate better”, the republic’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, said last January. was, while presenting the economic agenda to Chamber President Arthur Lira (PP-AL). As everything that comes out of this pairing almost always means the opposite, the summary will be this: nothing will change.
Worldwide The national scenario is complex while the world has already realized that the modern state needs to update its systems to sustain the growth of the society. In Germany, for example, researchers such as Heinz Klundt, who is part of the analysis body of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, are among those who have focused on the topic. Together with a technical team, he studies the development of automated systems that are capable of both refining the presentation of projects and anticipating discrepancies that may reverse the proposal in the future. “It is clear that the private universe has walked miles, while the public is walking centimeters in the optimization and efficiency of its own management”, he said in a lecture at the European Union Technology Commission on 7 March.
Somehow, in Brazil, perhaps the parliament meter has moved, but backwards. Between 2015 and 2019, the average pass rate was 6.4%, which is more than double the current average of 3.2%. And the setting becomes even more horror-book-worthy when we expand this account in two directions. The first is for the United States, which has a political system similar to that of Brazil. There, in the House of Representatives, or the equivalent of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, 86 economic agendas were filed in 2021. Of these, 45 were voted on and rejected, 21 are still being processed internally and 20 have become law. This is a 23.5% profit. A far cry from the 1,108 projects submitted and 37 converted into law that Brazil received in the same year.
The second scenario is complicated when we look at deep Brazil. In addition to the National Congress, state and district representatives of 27 bodies and councilors from about 6,000 cities legislate. And often with conflicting or overlapping rules. The Brazilian Institute of Planning and Taxation gives the dimension of the hole. In 2021, 813 new standards were created per working day. 53 new tax laws were introduced every 24 hours of banking hours. That means we have one law for every 31 residents. 33 years ago this ratio was one law for every 300 residents. As Haus has defined it, “an atmosphere of nightmare, absurdity, especially in the context of bureaucracy that eschews any logic or rationality”. Correct definition of a Kafkaesque position.