With nearly 25% of the politicians under investigation for corruption, the proposed "clean record" law was a bold initiative. It would ban any
politician with a previous conviction for crimes such as corruption and money laundering, from running for office.
It met fierce opposition from many politicians, especially those who would be directly affected by it.
This is a stunning victory for the people of Brazil. Strangely (sic!) this story has not appeared much in the English speaking media!
Avaaz joined the Brazilian people in their fight against corruption, and says:
The "clean record" law was a bold proposal that banned any politician convicted of crimes like corruption and money laundering from running for
office. With nearly 25% of the Congress under investigation for corruption, most said it would never pass. But after Avaaz launched the largest online
campaign in Brazilian history, helping to build a petition of over 2 million signatures, 500,000 online actions, and tens of thousands of phone calls,
Avaaz members fought corrupt congressmen daily as they tried every trick in the book to kill, delay, amend, and weaken the bill, and won the day every
time. The bill passed Congress, and already over 330 candidates for office face disqualification!
One Brazilian member wrote to us when the law was passed, saying:
I have never been as proud of the Brazilian people as I am today! Congratulations to all that have signed. Today I feel like an actual citizen with
political power. -- Silvia
Our strategy in Brazil was simple: make a solution so popular and visible that it can’t be opposed, and be so vigilant that we can’t be
This victory shows what our community can do - at a national level, in developing nations, and on the awful problem of corruption. Anywhere in the
world, we can build legislative proposals to clean up corruption in government, back them up with massive citizen support, and fight legislators who
try to block them.
End of Quote.
Whilst I am sorry that Avaaz does not attribute any credit to those who created and proposed the Bill, and who took it forward themselves, alone, in
the face of huge opposition, up until the point where Avaaz did also become involved, I do believe there is a huge lesson for us all to learn from
this situation. We can bring about change if we let go of our apathy, join together and take simple, but effective and sustained action.
WELL DONE BRAZILIAN ACTIVISTS. YOU ARE AN EXAMPLE FOR THE WORLD.
[edit on 28-7-2010 by wcitizen]