On-line version ISSN 1678-4588
AMORIM NETO, Octavio and TAFNER, Paulo. Coalition Governments and Fire Alarm Mechanisms in the Legislative Control of Provisional Measures. Dados [online]. 2002, vol.45, n.1, pp. 5-38. ISSN 1678-4588. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0011-52582002000100001.
This article discusses the relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branches in Brazil with regard to the issuing of Provisional Measures (PMs) by the former. The article contends that the legal ability of the Brazilian Chief of State to issue decrees with the force of law and taking force immediately (i.e., PMs) does not imply that members of Congress have abdicated from their legislative prerogatives in favor of the Executive Branch, as proposed by some authors analyzing the issue. After presenting the most important analyses of the dynamics in the Executive-Legislative relationship, the article aligns itself with the interpretation emphasizing the process of mutual delegation and control between the two powers, contending that the formation of a solid coalition government generates incentives for the Executive to issue PMs that meet the interests of the legislative majorities, and that Congress is also capable of inferring whether such measures meet its interests, by way of an indirect supervisory mechanism known as the "fire alarm". The article proposes that it is possible to view PMs as part of a complex and changing context of delegation within Brazilian Presidentialism, involving neither usurpation nor abdication.
Keywords : provisional measures; legislative supervision through fire alarm mechanisms; coalition governments.