Historically, elected representatives, specifically politicians were members of the social and economic elite who spent much of their time managing their own businesses (often landed estates). Governance was an occasional activity in which they participated, unpaid, out of a sense of duty, a love of their country or, it could be argued, for the attendant power and prestige the position offered. In the twentieth century the payment of elected representatives and an increasingly diverse society has allowed candidates to be drawn from a much wider social and economic pool, while the growing complexity of the modern state has hugely increased the amount of time elected representatives must devote to politics, their constituencies and legislation. This situation, coupled with an awareness of the potentially corrupting influence of interest groups on the political process, has led to demands that elected representatives no longer maintain business interests outside politics, nor continue to practice as barristers, doctors, paid speakers, etc. The debate is relevant to all democracies, but is particularly relevant in the UK. In 2009 an on-going scandal about MPs expenses has led to calls for full transparency, including the reporting of how much time MPs spend on paid employment outside parliament.
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