Political participation through voting - from http://revisesociology.wordpress.com/

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 04-01-12 20:02

The UK is a representative democracy. This means people vote to elect someone to make decisions on their behalf, representing their desires and needs, in the UK these people are MPs. If the voters don’t feel they are represented well then they can be voted out at the next election. In this way the public can participate, through direct support and votes for a political party.

However, this form of political participation has decreased over the years. In 2001 only 59.3% of the population voted a massive decline from the 89% of the population who voted in 1950. There are many different reasons for this decline in voting:

Class decomposition – Since the 1970s there has been a large increase in the percentage of white-collar jobs. This has created a largermiddle class, as those who used to be working-class now feel like their job means they are now middle class. Because of this there has been class decomposition. This effects voting behaviour because people used to vote based upon their class, however now there is much less partisan alignment.

This increase in the class structure of Britain also means that parents are less likely to socialise their child into voting a certain way. In the past a working-class parent would make sure their child voted labour, however now this is much less likely to happen, so people don’t have such a strong allegiance to a party so might not bother to vote.

This class decomposition also affected the…

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