The Senator is that representative elected by the population, through the vote, to represent the states of the federation. Here are the steps to run for a Senator term.
Part 1 of 2: Get involved in politics
Step 1. Login to politics
Nobody becomes a Senator overnight. This position is extremely important and should only be filled by those who have a real interest in politics. So, be part of student movements, unions, employers, or any other political activities, so that you “find yourself” in politics.
- In Brazil, the minimum age to become a Senator is 35 years old. So, until then, it's worth running for other elective positions and getting to know national politics better.
In addition to the minimum age, the other basic requirements to be a Senator are: to be a native Brazilian, to be in full exercise of political rights, to be up to date with electoral and military obligations and to have electoral domicile in the constituency
Step 2. Schooling
There are no educational requirements (except for not being illiterate), but it is recommended that you have a good understanding of the country's history, politics, economics, sensitivity to social problems and an interest in changing what is wrong. Always being up to date is vital too!
Step 3. Join a party
In Brazil, to run for any elected office, the candidate must be affiliated with a party. Choose one that most aligns with your political convictions and join!
Step 4. Choose by party
At election time, the parties choose, internally, which members will have their candidacies launched. This means that, even within the party, it may be necessary to “fight” for the seat and win votes in order to be able to launch a candidacy.
Step 5. Talk to people
If the party chooses to launch its candidacy, it is time to win the popular vote. Get campaign funders (companies or individuals), make pamphlets, posters, motorcades, rallies, debates, walks, etc. Anyway, be seen and present your proposals to the people, as they will decide if you will have or not a term for the next eight years.
The Senator's term is eight years, and every four years there is a partial renovation of the house, made up of 81 Senators (3 from each state). Thus, every four years, 1/3 of the Senate runs for new elections, and four years later, the remaining 2/3 will run for election
Part 2 of 2: The life of a senator
Step 1. Move to Brasilia
It is not mandatory to live there, but it can make your life immensely easier, since the Senate is in Brasília and you have to participate in the sessions of the House. But remember that you represent the interests of a state, so you will likely need to travel extensively there.
Step 2. Know the private competencies
The Senate's exclusive powers are:
- Prosecute and judge the President and Vice-President of the Republic, the Ministers of State, the Ministers of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), the Attorney General of the Republic and the Attorney General of the Union in the crimes of responsibility.
- Approve, in advance, the appointment of the President of the Republic of magistrates, Ministers of the Federal Court of Accounts, Governor of the Territory, President and Directors of the Central Bank, Attorney General of the Republic, Heads of diplomatic missions and holders of positions other than the law to determine.
- Authorize external operations of a financial nature, in the interest of federated entities.
- Provide for the regulation of executive and regulatory agencies.
- Suspend the execution, in whole or in part, of a law declared unconstitutional by final decision of the Supreme Court.
Step 3. Prepare to become a public figure
Remember that for the next eight years you are a public servant. The media will be aware of everything you do, and you must honor the office you were elected to. The media can help you a lot, but it can also destroy your career if you are part of corruption scandals, for example.
Step 4. Learn about other skills
Furthermore, as the country opted for a bicameral system (with the congress formed by the Senate + Chamber of Deputies), the drafting of new laws necessarily involves both houses. Thus, if a bill has started to be processed in the Chamber, it will necessarily have to be voted on in the Senate as well. Other skills include:
- Discuss and vote on the Union Budget (how much the country will spend on health, education, infrastructure, sanitation, public safety, etc.).
- Discuss and vote on bills initiated by the President of the Republic and higher courts
- Serve in person, or through its advisors, its voters, social segment or region, whenever possible, listening to requests and forwarding them to government bodies or presenting them in plenary.
- Summon the Ministers of State to provide, in person, information on previously determined matters.
- Appreciate the concessions and renewals of radio and television channels.
- Supervise and control the acts of the executive branch.
- Account for your actions.
- Trying the president and vice president and ministers of states in the crimes of responsibility.
- Watch over the constitutional rights of the people.
Step 5. Defense of States
As stated before, Senators are elected to represent the States of the Federation. Thus, it will be up to them to propose, discuss and vote on projects that meet the interests of the States that elected them (this explains, for example, the Senators of certain States are in favor of a certain bill, and others are against it).
Step 6. Senate Committees
They are technical support bodies within the Senate, serving for the analysis, for example, of the constitutionality of a given project, in addition to its technical and budgetary feasibility. In addition, there is the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission, which is not fixed, and serves to investigate suspected crimes. The final reports of the CPI can be forwarded to the Public Ministry, so that it can promote the civil or criminal accountability of the accused. The Senate Standing Committees are:
- Committee on Economic Affairs (CAE): analyzes economic and financial matters, agrarian law, foreign exchange, agricultural and credit policy, among other topics. Furthermore, it approves the choice of the TCU ministers, president and directors of the Central Bank. It is also responsible for issuing an opinion on the authorization request for external operations of a financial nature, in the interest of the Union, the States, and the Federal District.
- Infrastructure Services Commission (CI): issues an opinion on land, sea and air transport; on public works in general, mines, geological and water resources and telecommunications services.
- Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ): manifests itself on the constitutionality and legality of matters, as well as on the adequacy of its procedure in light of the house's bylaws. The commission is also responsible for issuing opinions on the creation of States and Territories, State of Defense and Siege, Federal Intervention, public security, loss of Senator's mandate and choice of Ministers of the STF, Superior Courts and Territory Governor.
- Social Affairs Committee (CAS): opines on labor relations, organization of the national employment system and conditions for the exercise of professions, social security, welfare and social assistance, protection and defense of health, control and inspection of medicines, sanitation and food, as well as on general environmental protection standards.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense (CRE): deals with proposals referring to acts and international relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign trade; nomination of the name of the head of a permanent diplomatic mission to foreign governments and international organizations; authorization for the President or Vice President of the Republic to be absent from the country for more than fifteen days, among other matters.
- Education, Culture and Sports Commission (CE): analyzes general education, culture, teaching and sports norms, guidelines and bases of national education, education salary, communication, press, scientific and technological creations, information technology, in addition to granting grants, renewal of concession, permission and authorization for sound and sound and image broadcasting services.
- Committee for the Environment, Consumer Protection and Inspection and Control (CMA) - Exercises the inspection and control of the acts of the Executive Branch, including those of the indirect administration, and may act in collaboration with the permanent and temporary committees, including the parliamentary committees of inquiry. It expresses itself on matters pertaining to the protection of the environment and consumer protection.
- Commission on Human Rights and Participatory Legislation (CDH): expresses itself regarding the guarantee and promotion of human rights, women's rights, protection of the family, children, youth and the elderly; it also gives its opinion on the protection and social integration of people with disabilities, as well as the inspection, monitoring, evaluation and control of government policies for these sectors.
- Regional Development and Tourism Commission (CDR): opines on proposals referring to regional, state and municipal inequalities; on programs, projects, investments and economic and social incentives aimed at the development of those areas; and on those matters that deal with policies relating to tourism.
- Science, Technology, Innovation, Communication and Informatics Commission (CCT): manifests itself on scientific and technological development and technological innovation; national policy on science, technology, innovation, communication and information technology; institutional organization of the sector; cooperation and innovation agreements with other countries and international organizations in the area; intellectual property; scientific and technological creations, information technology, nuclear activities of any kind, transport and use of radioactive materials, support and encouragement to research and creation of technology; communication, press, broadcasting, television, granting and renewal of concession, permission and authorization for sound and sound and image broadcasting services; regulation, control and ethical issues related to scientific and technological research and development, technological innovation, communication and information technology and other related matters.
- Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Commission (CRA): expresses itself on the planning, monitoring and execution of agricultural, land and livestock policies; on supply, agriculture and family security, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries; on inspection and marketing of products and inputs, animal and plant health surveillance and defense; on taxation of rural activities, alienation or concession of public lands, as well as on technological development and organization of rural education policies.
Step 7. Honesty
Be honest. EVER. Remember that it is with public money that your salary (and all benefits) will be paid! Don't become a corrupt politician anymore. Make the difference!