Rising voter apathy, the decline of political parties and the appearance of elected official who cannot be unseated is leading to the emergence in some countries of a form of post-electoral political order that undermines democratic processes. Elections then no longer serve the function of settling political disputes because they no longer alter the pattern of forces that exercise influence over government. Traditional methods of gaining and wielding power in representative government now matter less than the emerging tactics of political warfare. These include: investigative journalism, parliamentary hearings and investigations, and special prosecutors.
A dangerous self-delusion is associated with the fashion of claiming that modern democracies are hostage to overstimulated, under-informed public opinion. The central issue is not that televisions immediacy creates an atmosphere of crisis and demands for governments to act. Rather it is that industrial democracies only engage in issues beyond their borders when a crisis is reported on television and forces them to become involved.