Political Participation

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Political Participation

Political participation  ensures Active Citizenship:

  • Developed by the Labour Party circles in the 1990s.
  • This is the duty for all citizens to be politically active and it not just be a right

Big Society:

  • This was described by David Cameron.
  • This empowers the community and gets everyone involved. 
  • It contains value consensus which means people have shared values.
  • This is a society where people are more open. 
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Ways to participate in Politics

We can participate in politics by:

  • Voting in elections and referendums.
  • Joining an e-petition.
  • Signing a petition.
  • Protesting through PGs- striking etc.
  • Not vote at all.
  • Leaving your ballot blank or spoiling it,
  • Joining a political party.
  • Being informed (educated).
  • Become active in a party.
  • Standing for political office.
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Ways that Political participation can be increased

Political Participation can be increased by:

  • Increasing political education in secondary schools and making it compulsory. e,g citizenship lessons. This will give them a wider knowledge to use, if they wish-they will have the choice.
    • However, there could be political bias by teachers, some teachers may not be fully educated on politics. Even with political education, they may still choose to not vote.
  • Reducing the voting age to 16. 16 year olds are interested in politics and their age braqcket is not being represented because they are not a child, but are not adults yet. They pay taxes, can get a job, join the army etc so why can't they vote. E.g the Scottish Indepedence Referendum allowed 16 & 17 year olds to vote and 80% voted.
    • However, it is argued that some will be uneducated in politics and may not actually vote as a result. Also some 16 year olds are immature and my not vote in the correct manner. 
  • Changing the voting system: FPTP is undemocratic and people feel their vote is wasted so why bother. E.g UKIP only gained 1 seat with millions of votes.
    • However, FPTP is still democratic and the system won't change people's attitudes on politics in general. E.g AV referendym had a majority No vote.
  • Increased use of referendums: Direct democracy- it will make people used to voting and make them feel included.
    • However, Voter fatigue
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Voter Turnout

The turnout is the result of a general election and how many voted:

  • In the last 30 years, the voter turnout of general elections has fallen, risen and fallen etc. 
  • In 1945, the voter turnout of the GE was around 79%.
  • Whereas in 2015 the voter turnout was 66.1%.
  • A decline in turnout suggests that people have partisan dealignment, voter fatigue, lack political knowledge and political apathy.
  • The Conservatives have won a majority more than other parties. 
  • There was 3 years in a row where the Labour Party won the majority. 
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Party Membership

Party Membership is the number of people part of a political party:

  • 1980: the party membership was 1,693,156 and 4.12%.
  • Whereas in 2010, the party membership were 397,000 and 0.80%.
  • This shows that there was a decline in party membership in the 20 years of a GE.
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Pressure Groups

Pressure Groups are organisations who tries to influence public policy in the interest of a particular cause.

PGs are:

  • A source of political participation.
  • They a from of free democracy where people have the right to express their views and protest against the govt's policies.
  • Insider PGs, Outsider PGs, Sectional PGs and Promotional PGs.
  • Members of PGs strike, lobby MPs, raise political issues, protest, go on marches etc.
  • They try to get the govt's attention on issues.
  • E.g Uk Uncut protested outside shops that were tax dodgers. 
  • E.g BMA-junior doctor strikes. 
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Membership of PGs

Membership of PGs:

  • The Institute of Directors: 43,000.
  • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB): 1,000,000 +.
  • Unison: 1.3 million.
  • Taxpayers' Alliance: 65,000.
  • National Farmers' Alliance: 63,000.
  • 38 Degrees: 900,000.
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Growth of e-democracy

The growth of e-democracy is important because:

  • The use of the internet and social media has dramatically increased during the years. 
  • It is the main resource of information for most people as society uses the internet more for everything.
  • E-democracy can spread political opinions and views to a wider audience all across the country.
  • this means that everybody will have a say, through social media during debates and online to ask their questions to their MPs.
  • It is easier for people to search for things about politics online as it only takes seconds. 
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