The Brazil government operates as a republican form of government also called a federative republic, or federation of states. The central government is the federation and the states are the subdivisions within that government that maintain or support the federation.
The federal or central government handles larger issues like monetary policy, national defense and security, and anything else that would affect the country as a whole. Issues such as education, road repairs, and taxes are handled at the local level by the individual states.
It's similar to the United States in that the federal government ultimately has the final say, but the states are granted control over areas of government that affect their stated directly.
The Federation of Brazil consists of 26 individual states and one federal district. The federal district, or Distrito Federal, is home to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The states are also called Federative Units.
There are 21 different political parties within the country of Brazil.
The president is the head of the federation and is elected by the people every 4 years. As of the Constitution of 1988, a presidential candidate must be a minimum of 35 years old, born and residing in Brazil, and be an elector.
He or she must also qualify to run for office, which means he or she has electoral rights. Lastly, the presidential candidate must be a member of an established political party considering that write-in candidates are not permitted on the ballot in Brazil.
The president's duties include commanding the Brazilian Armed Forces as their commander-in-chief, representing Brazil across the world, heading up the executive branch of the Brazil government, and appointing Cabinet members and judges to sit on the Supreme Federal Tribunal. The president can also put laws on the books as well.
The president's official title is the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil if the president is a man.
If the President of Brazil is a woman, she is addressed with one of three titles of respect: President of the Republic, Her Excellency Madam President of the Republic, or Madam President.
How did Brazil arrive at this form of government for their country?
In a nutshell, the Brazilian government has endured two periods of dictators, three periods of democratic rule, and six different constitutions since the year 1889. Voting is not a choice given to the people, but rather it is mandatory.
In recent years Brazil's economy had strengthened and more people were able to experience a better standard of living, however at the time of this writing in 2016, there have been a number of major economic and political upheavals in Brazil. As a result, so many Brazilians are feeling angry and frustrated, in a time of uncertainty.
One thing is certain however, there is a tremendous resiliency, faith and indominatable spirit in the Brazilian people, one that continues to inspire me daily. No matter what obstacles they face, I believe that they will find a way through these difficulties. My good wishes and prayers go out to all people in Brazil, and in the world today who are facing uncertainties in their future.