Democracy, the Day After

Are our democracies efficient?  How effective is the communication between the people and political power?  Do the political leaders really “represent” us?  An election is a pivotal moment, the point in time where we choose our elected leader.  It is also the point in time where the relationship between the electorate and the candidate changes dramatically.  During an election, the candidates are deeply interested in the opinions of the population they hope to represent.  Many lines of communication exist between them.  Town halls, focus groups, debates, and polls are all vehicles for candidates to better understand the will of the people.  Once a leader has been elected, the populace has given that person the power to govern.   As a newly elected president, prime minister, or premier takes up residence in their new home, can they still be influenced by the opinions of the people they were elected to represent?  If we knocked at their door the day after the election - would they answer?