Michael Portillo losing his parliamentary seat was voted Britain's third favourite TV moment. As a man who has felt the sharp end of the democratic process, Michael sets off to examine and interrogate the development of the fragile entity that we know as democracy.
Before 1900, there were no genuinely democratic countries in the world - and never had been. By 1943 only a handful of countries were still democratically run. Today there are democracies on every continent and democracy is seen by many as the gold standard of government, an ideal worth fighting and dying for. But not everyone is convinced that democracy has triumphed.
In the final edition of 'Democracy On Trial', Michael asks whether democracy has passed a high-water mark and is now entering a long period of retreat. In conversation with policy makers, pollsters and philosophers, Michael explores the paradoxes inherent in contemporary democracy and compares very different attittudes towards the democratic process in Russia, China, Iraq, Britain and across the world.
Producer: Julia Johnson.