Politics in the twenty-first century is very demanding. Probably more demanding than in any other time in history. Due to the democratization of education, the possibilities of traveling and the globalization of information, European citizens are today better educated, informed and sophisticated. This allowed society to raise their level of political awareness and to develop high expectations from Political Parties.
Political actors are aware of this phenomenon. After all it was due to the implementation of a series of public policies in the area of education, to the creation of a knowledge-oriented society and to the increasing of European integration, that contemporary society developed new tools of interpretation and World Politics. But curiously, and just at the moment when we are witnessing a peak of participation of civil society in all forms of political activism - physical and digital -, the parties still turn their backs to the new society they helped create, not innovating nor creating new protagonist, preferring instead to isolate their internal structures to the processes of modernization and maintain obscure forms of selection and recruitment of political, too linked to intrigues and games of influences that dominate the dynamics of internal party democracy.
Maybe that's why we have witnessed in recent years (especially after understanding that part of the justification of the Obama phenomenon derived from the energy it had received during the primary elections of 2008), to various attempts to bridge this gap, notably by introducing primary systems to select political candidates. The Italian left already recruit their candidates this way, the PSOE is developing an interesting process of primaries to choose their candidate to the presidency of the Community of Madrid, and also within the European Socialist Party a debate is been organize to promote primary elections to choose the candidate for the presidency of the European Commission in 2014.
So, until when are we to wait for the transposition of this debate to Portuguese political society? After all, Portugal lives in one of the most closed and immobilized party system in Europe, dominated on the left and the right by central directories afraid of any genuine openness to civil society. The feeble attempts to modernization Portuguese parties have failed for lack of authenticity and persistence, but despite the resistance of party machines, I think it is inevitable that sooner or later, the promotion of more inclusive and transparent ways of participation in party life will be the standard followed by the main Portuguese political parties, meaning, no doubt, a significant qualitative leap in the quality of Portuguese democracy.