good news for you brits, if you think the scandal in parliament is bad, just have a look at this:
Politicians as a class are hardly the most admired group of people in Brazilian society, but even using a fairly low benchmark the last few months have done little to enhance their standing.
The focus of recent attention and scandals has been the upper house of the Brazilian Congress, the Senate, home to just 81 politicians representing all parts of this vast country.
At the heart of what is only the latest of many controversies has been the revelation of more than 600 "secret acts" which were signed over recent years and which were not officially approved by the Senate.
These previously undisclosed measures included providing jobs for family members and friends of senators, as well as paying extra hours and giving pay rises to members of staff.
Some of those hired never turned up to do the work for which they were employed (). The federal police have now been asked to carry out an investigation, and the "secret acts" have been annulled.
yeah, like annuling the secret acts will magically solve the problem of corruption, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
There has also been an outcry over some senators using their foreign travel allowance to let relatives make trips overseas, and the improper use of housing allowances.
"It lowers the image that the Brazilian population has of the Congress, even lower than it already was," said David Fleischer, political science professor at the University of Brasilia.
"So the people have lost faith in their legislative institutions."
The scandal also has a wider significance because of its implications for next year's presidential election when President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, despite his personal popularity, is not eligible to run for a third consecutive term.
One of the best known names in Brazilian politics has been at the heart of this political storm - the current president of the Senate, Jose Sarney, who despite his position, claimed to know nothing of the "secret acts".
Among a range of allegations he has faced is failing to report to the tax authorities a bank account he held abroad. He says he was not aware of the account and has authorised the relevant authorities to investigate.
He has also admitted that he did not declare a large home he owns in Brasilia to the federal electoral authorities, but says it was on his tax statement. He has also been accused of nepotism in relation to unpublished or "secret" appointments.
Mr Sarney become Brazil's first president after democracy was restored in 1985 following 21 years of military dictatorship - a role he acquired when the politician elected to the post died unexpectedly.
Critics would say he is the epitome of the old style "coronels" or regional political chiefs who used to rule Brazil through patronage and favours, and after 50 years in public life he certainly could be regarded as a tenacious politician. "
In other words, mr.sarney is just another caudillo, and a clever one,