Sept. 16, 2015 Weekly Graphs
Average levels among the regions of the Americas differ, but the trend during the last decades is similar. In all regions, the legislatures have more power to control the executives in 2012 than in the late 1970s. There has been a marked increase within South American, Central America, and later, North America. There has also been a modest increase in the Caribbean starting in the late 1980s. These trends reflect the resumption of democratic civilian rule in countries like Brazil, Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic and the shift in law making power to the legislature in Mexico. Overall, the power of legislatures as balancing institutions seems to be increasing across the Americas. Legislatures matter for governance. Hence, it is important that their work is transparent and they are open for participation from civil society.