Brazil is a Democratic Republic
Criminality and corruption, of course, still exist. However, unlike what Hollywood seems to think, you won't be yelled in the airport and thrown in jail just because the authority in place wants so.
With over 100 million voters, Brazil is one of the biggest democracies in the world. Voting in Brazil is not only a right, it is a duty; I personally think that there are some good reasons for voting being obligatory in Brazil.
Federal power is exercized by the President of Republic and the Parliament, composed by a lower chamber (Deputies) and a higher one (Senators).
The current President is mr. Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, a former metal worker who was elected in his 4th attempt; before him, president was mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a respected sociologist.
All the representatives are elected, in all levels of government (federal, states, cities); there are no vitalicious members in any of the parliaments, nor is there any who wasn't elected. All first instance judges must be approved in a public examination; some judges in superior instances are nominated, but must approved by the President and the Parlliament.
Long past is the time when generals ruled the country based on authority and hierarchy; today, and more and more by the day, the law is above all. In recent years and days, by force of the law, a President was impeached, judges were arrested, dishonest civil servants have been arrested; more than showing a corrupt country, this shows that the population has less and less tolerance with corruption.
Elections are free and fair. Votes are secret. All citizens have equal rights to vote, the President is the candidates with most votes. The press and media completely free. In the last presidential election, the (undisputed) results were announced just a few hours after the ballot; Brazil has one of the most modern and reliable voting system in the world; the Brazilian politicians, however, are far from being the most ethical in the world.
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