June 21, 2013 3:27 pm

FT Facebook readers offer solutions to Brazil crisis

People march in downtown Rio de Janeiro during a protest of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes©AFP

We asked followers of our Facebook page in Brazil what they thought it would take to end the protests sweeping the country. Here is a selection of the more than 100 suggestions received to date. Some have been edited for length.

Leticia Santos: There’s so much to protest about . . . But if the government decreases the salary of the congressmen and give them to teachers and hire more doctors, it’s a start . . . 

Adriano Delfino No one knows yet, and it is kind of funny to see int’l papers focusing on different themes. Though, it’s not about 20 cents indeed. People is unhappy, and there are plenty of reasons to be. There is a small list going on Facebook, allegedly compiled by local Anonymous which says:

1. No to the amendment 37 – which would cut the investigative function of the judiciary. 2. Renan Calheiros (speaker of the Senate) got to go. 3. Parliamentary investigation on World Cup’s expenditures. 4. Corruption be considered a heinous crime – which would make harsher the punishment. 5. Politicians to be tried on common courts, and not by their peers, just like regular citizens.

Although strolling through any protest, topics go even further, you see people complaining of several other things that one would add promptly to that list. You guys are only looking at the big protests, but what about those from the outskirts? Not even us know what those people want, but they surely must have a way bigger list.

The scary things for Dilma are the following:

1. There’s no leaders. 2. Protesters are banishing party flags (even burning them flags). 3. There’s not a single list of complaints. 4. The poor youngsters are getting more vicious. 5. Panis et circensis is not working any more – people are really considering the fact that we should not have the World Cup in here at the first place.

Georges Hutschinski: To my humble understanding there is a lot to complain about, Brazilians are not satisfied at all, however these protests will serve only to show disappointment, the real change has to come from small daily changes in attitudes mainly. Now the people have the attention they wanted, I just hope that they seize it.

Valeria Barros: 1. Renan Calheiros [Leader of Congress] and Marco Feliciano [Human Rights Commission head] out of their positions. 2. Stop PEC 37, 3. Punishment according to the law to the politicians that were condemned in Mensalão investigation. 4. Reduce the congressmen salaries – highest in the world. 5. Investigation and punishment for the outrageous costs by who directly or indirectly had illegal benefits from the World Cup. 6. Settle corruption as heinous crime. 7. A very strong measure to contain violence. 8. A big change in Health system for all – better conditions and accessibility. 9. Generate more employments. 10. Education, last, but not least, in order to raise children to study and decrease criminality and that they have chances to grow and work with dignity.

Beatriz Albuquerque What we need is a deep change that begins with a conscious vote. We can’t expect that this government will do anything but making a fool of us.

João Felipe Mayer Saucedo People will just get tired of protesting. Few things can actually change in this country.

Maurício Lacerda: This movement is about our people, it’s about our country, it’s about the repressive authorities we have under the guise of a free and democratic nation, its’ a about making Brazil a place with more justice and fairness for everyone – regardless of how you believe that can be achieved; that’s a debate for another time. Now, we took the streets to say WE HAD ENOUGH!

Diogo Coêlho What Brazil has been witnessing is a dispersed and wide-ranging sentiment of dissatisfaction with the State and our current political system.

The newly-born Brazilian democracy created a fragmented party system that led to an enduring absence of coalitions in Congress. In the current political system – known as coalition presidentialism – each administration has to hand out ministries and also senior positions in State-controlled enterprises among different parties to create a satisfactory majority in Congress. This practice frequently leads to rent-seeking, corruption and misuse of public resources. Implementing further reforms requires breaking with many privileges – especially for the groups that traditionally benefited from political ties, such as unions and businessmen eager for government aid. Reforms, therefore, imply different distributional costs.

But it is important to note that those protests and riots have not been directed towards one specific goal of reform any more, but they rather have become a claim for better services. They lack a consistent agenda and a leadership that can enact reform. Violence and riots are now proliferating and thus undermining the political capital gained in recent weeks. The protesters will soon recede – and not win much.

Diêgo Da Silva We just want Human Rights, is it too much to ask?

Diogo Dee Significant reform reducing impunity of corrupt politicians and better use of taxpayer money.

Mauricio Guitzel Every government here in Brazil is looking for that answer. But, not even the protesters know. The movement has no leaders, nobody knows exactly its goals.

Pieter Lekkerkerk There is one more universally shared demand: the end of two self-serving constitutional amendments that seem designed to guarantee impunity. Beyond that causes are more diffuse making it probable (if unfortunate) that protests will fizzle out for lack of a common cause

Rodrigo Moura It´s hard to know. It´s actually hard to understand whilst there are mixed motivations behind it. But I´d like to say that there´s a lack of political attitude from government, the speeches coming from President Dilma and governors try to play as if all these riots were not against them.

Priscila Vieira 1) Thorough investigation of the use of public resources in construction of the World Cup, 2) Rescind PEC 37, 3) Investigation of multiple leaders that have been voted on by the misinformed mass and who have a clear history of corruption, 4) More transparency in the media.

Cassia Barretto No more corruption. No to amendment 37. More hospitals, more security and more education. Better use of the money collected through taxes. Simple as that !!!

Hugo Amano Bus fares was only one of the reasons of the manifestations. I really expect that people remain in the streets as we have much more things to develop such as education, health and the well known corruption!

Jana Santos Fear. Fear about the violence in the middle of the protests that the police simple are passive about or too oppressive. Fear about a dictatorial party assuming control because of the strange laws that are appearing. I’m observing that slowly people don’t feel this protest is about them any more, but about parties, about vandals.

Flavio Ortigao 1. Those responsible for this politic & economic failure, must GO; 2. Those convicted for corruption crimes, but still without punishment, must face justice; 3. The attempt to block the Attorney-General, has to stop; 4. less taxes; 5. Free market.

The Facebook post is only readily available to our followers in Brazil.

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