To what extent does democracy in the UK suffer from a ‘participation crisis’? (25 marks)


Democracy is a system of government where the eligible population participates by voting for the future of their nation or state. Democracy within the UK suffers from a ‘participation crisis’ due to low turnout during General Elections, lowering membership numbers and partisan dealignment. However the UK isn’t suffering from a participation crisis, yet results in a change in the way participation is involved with democracy. Not only via other methods, but also the rise for some political party’s membership such as the SNP. Overall, there isn’t a Democratic participation crisis within the UK, although the turnout of elections and membership aren’t as high as they once were, the public participates in democracy with other methods which impacts in a different way such as pressure groups and petitions.

The UK does suffers from a participation crisis due to apathetic voters. This causes bad turnouts during referendums and elections, making the overall result only a selection of representation of the electorate, and not a representation as a whole. An example is the AV referendum in 2014, where there was a turnout of 42.2%, which is the lowest reported referendum in the UK. This represents how the public hasn’t got involved in referendums where it isn’t worthwhile, as that decision hasn’t affected the voting system and has since been forgotten. Also in both local and national elections, turnouts are low, as many doesn’t benefit from any policies and most implemented are ineffective causing a percentage of the electorate to not vote, causing the overall representation to drop.

There is a participation crisis within the UK Democracy as partisan dealignment is very common for most political parties currently, as the manifestos of many parties now apply to many eligible voters, meaning that more than one political party applies to them as many parties’ policies can overall, such as the view on school fees, or pension schemes. Therefore, this leads to less safe seats, and also results in less votes in total. It is mainly the older generation who vote, and those who are still loyal to their party, yet since the new generation has been eligible to vote, there


No comments have yet been made