People, Politics and Participation Definitions

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When people choose not to participate in an activity (i.e voting)
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Passivity or indifference (can result in a low turnout)
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Where significant changes to party allegiance is masked by a small headline swing
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Class alignment
The correlation between social class and voting behaviour
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The power is in the people
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Dominant ideology model
The notion that there exists a shared set of values and beliefs within any society that will shape the way in which individuals view each political party
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The tendency to defer to the ideas of a small group who share a common socio-economic background
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Gender gap
The historical divide between the patterns of party support shown by women when voting in elections and those shown by men
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General voting model
An overarching model of voting behaviour that seeks to demonstrate the links that exist between some of those features emphasised under other voting models
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A person who identifies with a certain political party
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Liberal democracy
A democratic style incorporating free and fair elections with a belief in the importance of certain key rights and responsibilities
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Long-term factors
Long-standing influences on voting behaviour that endure from election to election
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Newspapers, radios, television, internet etc. Broadcast media are under a legal obligation to not show a political bias
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Partisan alignment
An individual's long-standing psychological attachment to a particular political party
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Partisan dealignment
An apparent decline in the number of people who strongly identify with one political party
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Pluralist democracy
A system of government that encourages participation and allows for free and fair competition between competing interests. Characterised by: a diversenrange of competing interests; numerous access points; the inability to exclude any groups.
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Political participation
How an individual is involved in politics: voting, protesting, memberships to pressure groups/political parties etc
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A process of conflict resolution resulting in the division of power and resources between individuals; individuals and state and different institutions that make up the state
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Protest voting
Where voters cast a ballot in favour of a candidate or party they wouldn't normally support, often to send a message to their natural party of the government
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Rational choice model
An explanation of voting behaviour that sees voters as rational individuals choosing between parties on the basis of their policies, leaders and prior performance in office
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Short-term factors
Factors that have a short-term influence on voters.
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Social structures model
A voting model that emphasises the influence of social factors (i.e. social class, ethnicity, occupation and gender) on electoral outcomes
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A measure in the movement of votes from one party to another between two consecutive elections
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Tactical voting
Where an individual votes for a candidate who isn't the preferred candidate to prevent the least preferred from being elected
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The percentage of registered voters who cast a ballot in a given election
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Voting context model
Where the behaviour of voters is affected by the nature of the election being contested, the importance of the resulting institution and the workings of the electoral system in operation
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Card 2


Passivity or indifference (can result in a low turnout)



Card 3


Where significant changes to party allegiance is masked by a small headline swing


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Card 4


The correlation between social class and voting behaviour


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Card 5


The power is in the people


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