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Towards a trustee model? Parliamentary representation in the internet era: The Portuguese case

Leston-Bandeira, Cristina


Cristina Leston-Bandeira


This article considers whether new media have shifted the focus and style of parliamentary representation in Portugal. The Portuguese case is an interesting one to look at because it has been characterised by a strong responsible party model and very distant MP-Citizens relationships. The system is characterised by a heavily party-based parliament where individual MPs have little say and constituencies little meaning. Drawing on interviews with MPs and content analysis of websites of parliament, parliamentary groups and MPs, the article concludes that over time, the online presence of Portuguese party groups replicates the offline delegate style of representation. At the margins, however, individual MPs from the two main parties have created their own websites, providing some evidence of a move away from a pure responsible party model of representation towards a trustee model. Bringing together theories on the nature of parliamentary representation and on the effects of internet on politics, the article explores an evidence-based case study. © 2011 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society. All rights reserved.


Leston-Bandeira, C. (2012). Towards a trustee model? Parliamentary representation in the internet era: The Portuguese case. Parliamentary affairs, 65(2), 425-447.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 9, 2011
Publication Date Apr 1, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Parliamentary Affairs
Print ISSN 0031-2290
Electronic ISSN 1460-2482
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Issue 2
Pages 425-447
Keywords Style and focus of representation; Internet and representation; Portuguese parliament
Public URL
Publisher URL