Participation & voting behaviour

Ffion Groom
Flashcards by Ffion Groom, updated more than 1 year ago
Ffion Groom
Created by Ffion Groom almost 6 years ago


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democracy rule by the people 'people power' in Britain we have direct democracy as we vote for who we want to run the country through represented democracy
Direct democracy direct input in the policy making process citizens themselves are able to debate and decide issues of public importance through referendums. This is also a guarantee of freedom of speech & allow the people to assemble & petition for issues they feel necessary.
Liberal Democracy in the Uk we don't simply have democracy but a Liberal democracy. - Incorporating free & fair elections - the right to vote among most citizens - freedom for speech
representative democracy citizens elect a representative who enacts laws on their behalf. e.e in GE you vote for a candidate to represent your constituency
UK - a representative democracy: UK - also a parliamentary democracy: - has elected representative institutions e.g House of Commons. - as HoC is democratically elected & governed by the will of the people.
Participation classified into two types : - electoral - non-electoral participation
Electorate people who are both eligible and reregistered to vote in an election
Turnout The percentage of registered voters who cast a ballot in a given election
Legitimacy & Mandate Legitimacy: the leal right or authority to exercise power. Mandate: the right to govern a party to pursue the policies stated in its GE manifesto
Differential Turnout National turnout figure is an overall figure - does not show a number of regional variations that can occur. Turnout can be differential. Some constituencies have a higher turnout that the over all national while others are lower.
Reasons for differential turnouts - How marginal an individual seat or election is. - local or national issues - media attention - people think that their vote will/not count
Reason for varied turnout 1. Election type (local, Assembly, UK Parliament) 2. Apathy - lack of interest 3. Hapathy - people are happy enough with the way things are/ how they are bing governed & don't feel like they need to vote. 4. the value of a vote - does my vote REALLY count? 5. Media - impacts on turnouts especial if a closely fought GE e.g GE1992 & 2010
Non- Electoral Participation - writing to your MP/ meet with them - be involved in the local party - political protest - join a pressure group
reasons for decline in traditional party political participation & voting - turnout declined v. significantly since 1997 - party memberships has declined overly over the last 30 years - people have turned towards pressure groups and alternative to traditional political participation
Addressing low turnout - compulsory voting e.g Australia - turnout rate >90% - reduce voting age
Voting Behaviour. Psepghologists Psephologists : specialist in the study of elections and voting behaviour
Primary modle of voting - long term factors - stability is a major contribution to voting behavious as social factors change only very slowly. - short term factor are important but do little to prevent underlining social forced from influencing an individuals politics.
Recency model of voting behaviour - short term factors - recently voters patterns have changed and become more volatile. - Churn: same number of voters generally vote for the same party, this does not mean the same voters voted for the same party. Therefore many voters may change who the vote for but the net result stays the same. - Floating voters: many voters who make their minds up last minute, owing to the fact they may not have long term allegiances to nay of the parties. Adding volatility.
Social Class - traditionally LAB voter = w/c, CON voters = U/C & M/C - since 1970's weakening of the relationship between social class and voting = class dealignment
reason for class dealignment - old class solidarity breakdown - class mobility - Old w/c and manual workers sector shrunk - new w/c better qualified - new w/c work in private sector & own home
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