Writing on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the military coup of 25 April 1974, which ended 48 years of authoritarian rule in Portugal, but not writing with Portugal in mind, the columnist Joe Rogaly (1999) described the current state of democratic politics in the West thus:

We are in the age of micropolitics. Party labels no longer stand for clear ideologies or sets of values. They have become logos, means of identifying alternative troupes of office-seekers. We do not elect visionaries, but actor-managers: not great thinkers who will try to change the world but good TV performers whom we can rely on to tinker with details.