An integral part of Brazil’s complex electoral system, popular petitions are one of the major reasons for Brazil’s current political crisis. These petitions bring forward a large logistical problem, that is, to ensure the collection and verification of signatures from 145 million eligible voters in the varied terrain of Brazil.
Legislators in Brazil have been researching hard for ways to solve this issue, and it seems that they may have finally found a solution. In what can be described as the first use of the blockchain by a political system, the Brazilian legislators are planning to use the Ethereum Blockchain to expedite the process related to popular petitions.
The project is led by an unconventional pair, Ricardo Fernandes Paixão, who is an adviser to the Brazilian Congress and a university lecturer, and Everton Fraga, a designer and programmer at the Ethereum Foundation. The pair want to use the Ethereum Blockchain to prove that signatures collected for the Brazilian Congress to hear petitions do exist. Brazil’s law requires petitions that have collected at least 1% of the total population signatures to be heard in its Parliament, but so far the Brazilian Congress has not fulfilled this constitutional requirement on the pretext of having no such secure platform to collect people’s assent.
A mobile phone app would allow people to check their signatures as well as submit their signatures for various petitions they want to be brought up in the Brazilian Parliament. All this data would be stored securely in the Ethereum Blockchain, which would help both the people and lawmakers to keep a track on issues which need to be solved for the betterment of the country.
The blockchain project comes at the backdrop of initiatives aimed at reforming the electoral system of Brazil and to strengthen its democracy against social ills. If this project passes successfully, it will be the first instance of a nation’s government working with a public blockchain. Earlier, Sweden has also used its own variant of Blockchain technology as the back-end for its land registry records. According to both Paixão and Fraga, the successful implementation of this project would be a celebration of democracy in the country, as it would usher in more accountability and reduce illicit activities within the Brazilian law system.