Brasilia, capital of Brazil & Brazil



Federal Chamber

See also:
Brasilia homepage
Brasilia: Brazil political center
Brazilian Parliament

In Brazil, the Lower House of Representatives is called Cāmara dos Deputados, Chamber of Deputies; the House is usually referred to as "a Cāmara".

The Chamber represents the Brazilian citizens. Each State, and also the Federal District, elects a number of Deputies in proportion to the respective population; there is, however, a minimum of eight and a maximum of seventy Deputies per State.

The idea, grosso modo, is that the Chamber represents the population (and therefore the number of Deputies is proportional to the population), whereas the Senate represents the Federation (hence, each State has the same vocality, all with three Senators).
Even though the Senate has more competences than the Chamber, there is no difference between them when it comes to voting laws; there is not an Upper and a Lower House. Every law must be approved both by the Chamber and the Senate (and eventually promulgated - or vetoed - by the President of the Republic); if one of the Houses changes anything in the draft of law being appreciated, the draft returns to the other House for a new appreciation.

The Floor of the Federal Chamber is inside the hemi-sphere looking up (see photo). According to architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Senate is a conservative House, closed into itself, hence looking down; the Chamber, on the other hand, is a House more open to new ideas, hence its hemi-sphere is looking up.
Floor of Brazil Parliament director board panel of results

The photos above show the inside of the Floor of the Federal Chamber.
The first photo shows the seats of the Deputies (people in the photo are visitors). There is no fixed seat; Deputies may take any seat. The upper part shows the galleries, from where citizens may follow the sessions of the Chamber.
The middle picture shows the Directive Board of the Chamber, sided by the two Tribunes (near the two smaller Brazilian flags). Two lines of microphones are available for Deputies who want to talk to the Board or to the orator in the Tribune (notice that, in the Senate, each Senator has a microphone at disposal at his own seat); because of this, it is common to see Deputies walking around during the sessions (only by talking at the microphones will their words be included in the records of the House).
voting panelThe photo to the right shows the panel where the results of voting are displayed. Except in a few cases, Deputies cast their votes through a voting panel, which makes results available just a few minutes after the end of the ballot.
In the past, Deputies were caught voting (illegally) on behalf of others. To avoid these frauds, the system now works as follows: the Deputy must type in a secret, personal, number code; the Deputy must put his left thumb over a fingerprint scanner (which checks whether the print relates to the number code); while keeping the thumb on the scanner, the Deputy uses his other hand to push either the Yes or No voting button.

The Federal Chamber is open for visitations, from Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. A guide takes visitors to the premises of both Senate and the Chamber. Tours in Portuguese only.
The guide usually suggests that visitors finish the tour with a visit to the Restaurant in the top floor of the Annex Four, from where there is a nice view of the Three Powers Square.

For more information, visit the official website of the Brazil Federal Chamber.
The Chamber maintains a TV station to broadcast the sessions of the House; visit the site of TV Cāmara.

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