About the Observatory

Presentation of the Observatory

In a liberal and representative democracy, like the Portuguese one and others from our geocultural area, especially within the European Union, the democratic government (which embodies the citizens in its decision-making process) is exercised in a representative manner, according to the keystones of the constitutional architecture of any liberal democracy (Constitution and fundamental human rights, namely political and social; rule of law; separation of powers; regular free and fair elections; vertical accountability, from the elected candidates towards their electorate, and horizontal accountability, this is, between the different sovereign bodies; full political sovereignty of all elected representatives, within the boundaries of the constitutional architecture, the rule of law and the fundamental human rights).

As such, the sovereign delegates its sovereignty towards the elected representatives – at the various government levels, who should govern in accordance with people’s preferences (at least, the majority of the voters) and be held accountable for their use of power in regular elections.

The democratic political representation refers to the integration of citizens in the political and decision-making processes, thus pinpointing the linkage between the electorate, the elected representatives, and the formulation and implementation of public policy. The argument that public policies should reflect the will of at least the majority of the voters constitutes a fundamental principle in any successful liberal and representative democracy.

André Freire

Observatory’s Director