Democracy works when citizens can hold policy makers to accounts. Nowhere is this connection between the governed and their representatives more evident than the economy. Citizens expect strong economic performance from incumbents, and executives who fail to live up to popular expectations will feel the voter’s wrath at election time. But what if the criterion on which governments are judged—the economy—is fundamentally restructured? Such is the case in times of structural reform. Structural reforms change the way citizens evaluate politicians.
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After sweeping pro-market structural reforms in the 1990s, over the last twelve years Brazil has experienced an economic boom fuelled by commodity exports and credit expansion, making it the 7th largest economy in the world. Yet the Brazilian economy has faced severe challenges after the GFC. The coming Brazilian presidential and parliamentary elections represent a decisive moment for the Latin American giant. Will the newly elected government implement progressive policy leading to higher growth and macroeconomic stability?
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, will address some of the challenges faced by modern parliaments and representatives across the Commonwealth, in the era of the digital revolution and 'disruptive' technology. Has digital increased expectations and demands of the citizen to such a degree that it is time for a new model of representative democracy or is the impact over-hyped?