Barring CPIs or receiving poison arrows: what is the lowest cost?

Not even having a majority of votes on a commission guarantees peace of mind for those investigated

For Alon Fireworkers *

Whenever it sees the possibility of suffering an uncomfortable parliamentary commission of inquiry, any government sees its difficult choice. Either it starts to enlist a sufficient number of supporters and thus simply make the installation of the CPI unfeasible, or it will need to manage prolonged wear, a period in which the arrows will come, no one knows when or where, but they will come. And maybe one of them, or more than one, is poisoned.

Even having the most votes in the CPI at the time of installation is no guarantee of anything. Majorities and minorities in CPIs tend to fluctuate according to public opinion and its excellence, the new fact. Better not to have any CPI. But that also comes with cost.

Operating the non-installation of a CPI produces wear and creates political-police risk, as the currency of exchange is usually budgetary. Or of positions. The risk in the first case is easy to understand. In the second, we now have an example: the debate over who appointed the Ministry of Health official accused of asking for a commission on a possible purchase of vaccines against covid-19. Even if the crime is not proven at the end, the server and whoever indicated it will have to cross a Polish corridor.

And the IQ (“who indicated”) is often a shaky ground, as the formal nominator is not always, or almost never, the political stakeholder in the nomination. But it ends up paying the political price. When not, it also bears the legal cost. If you’re lucky, it’s restricted to the foreground. But lately it’s a rarity. The final point in recent political disputes has been the court. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, let everyone have their own opinion.

Of the presidents elected since 1989, the one who operated most mercilessly against the installation of CPIs was Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He received criticism at the time, accused of physiology. On the other hand, he completed his term and is now interviewed every other day as the last father of the country.

*Alon fireworkers is a political analyst at FSB Comunicação

This is a content of Bússola, a partnership between FSB Comunicação and Exame. The text does not necessarily reflect Exame’s opinion.

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