# Reduced political participation in the UK

Mind Map by , created about 6 years ago

## Mind Map on Reduced political participation in the UK, created by brabbitt on 10/01/2013.

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 Created by brabbitt about 6 years ago
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Reduced political participation in the UK
1 Evidence of this
1.1 Turnout for elections continues to decrease or remain low
1.1.1 General Election: 1979: 76%, 1997: 71%, 2005: 61%.
1.1.1.1 2010: Ardwick in MCR 20% turnout.
1.1.2 European Elections, local council elections and Mayoral elections turnout is on average less than 50%
1.2 Membership of political parties has decreased from 1.8m in 1980, 0.3m in 1998, 0.27m by 2006.
1.2.1 Less than 1% of the electorate are a party member.
1.2.1.1 A government of the people?
1.3 BUT
1.3.1 Pressure group activity has increased. The largest pressure groups have more members than all of the political parties combined.
1.3.1.1 Increasing number of protests.
1.3.1.2 Online petitions (E-Petitions)
2 Why is this a problem?
2.1 The legitimacy of the government can be questioned if its authority is based on an election of low turnout.
2.1.1 The 2005-10 Labour government only received 30% of the votes when only 61% of the electorate voted. Therefore less than 1/4 of the electorate voted for the governing party.
2.1.1.1 A government by the people?
2.2 How can the population expect our MP's to represent the people if they will not vote?
2.2.1 Do new laws have the consent of the people if there are a lack of voters?
2.3 Local councillors, local Mayors and MEP's cannot claim to have the support of the people.
2.4 What does it suggest about the UK politicians and political system if a large proportion of the electorate refuse to vote?
3 How can political participation be increased?
3.1 More use of direct democracy vie referendums
3.1.1 There has been an increase in the use of referendums in the UK since 1997
3.1.2 Scottish devolution referendum achieved a high turnout but the other have suffered from low turnout making the decision meaningless.
3.1.2.1 The population have elected MP's to represent the people and govern on our behalf.
3.1.3 Soctish independence and EU membership referendums are planned for the future.
3.1.3.1 Referendums are usually used to give support for changes to the political system. Not practicle to use for each government decision.
3.2 Citizenship lessons but these have not achieved success so far.
3.3 Lowering the voting age. There is no evidence to suggest that 16 year olds want to vote or have the capacity to understand the political arguments.