Democracy and Political Participation: Enhancing Democracy Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Democracy and Political Participation: Enhancing Democracy Deck (18):

What is citizenship?

This term refers to the idea that members of the political community have rights with respect to political institutions. It implies that an individual has the right to live within a particular state and thus enjoy all the rights and civil liberties citizenship brings. It also bring a level of obligation to obey the law, provide military service in some circumstances, to pay taxes.


What is political participation?

Refers to the opportunities for and tendencies to become involved in the political process. This can be minimal like simply voting in elections, but it might include active work in political parties or pressure groups. At a higher level, it includes standing for public office.


What are the 2 ways in which politicians have tried to encourage greater participation of citizens in democracy?

1. Active Citizenship idea from Labour in 1990s.
2. Big Society programme by the Conservatives after 2010


What 3 things did the Active Citizenship idea suggest?

1. Suggests that it is a duty for all citizens to be politically active and not just a right
2. Citizens should participate in an activity at local, regional or national level which has an impact on the community
3. Would involve membership of political parties, pressure groups or voluntary organisations like Neighbourhood watch, environmental campaigns ect


What 2 things did the Big Society programme suggest?

1. Many of the functions of the state, largely in local government, should be replaced by local activism
2. This includes creation of Free Schools, voluntary housing associations working to produce subsidises housing for rent and citizen action groups to fight crime, provide employment opportunities for the young and to engage in environmental projects


What are a few evidence of a decline in participation in the UK? (2)

1. Low turnout at elections
Falling. Some improvements. Participation lower than the 77% recorded in 1993. 2001 = 59.4% of population voted in the general election. Local/regional election turnouts are even lower
2. Decline in Party membership
2020 - 0.8% population part of a political party compared to 4.12% recorded in 1980


What are the possible explanations for decline in participation in the UK? (2)

1. People generally identify much less closely with political parties - partisan dealignment
2. There have instead been in increase in pressure group activities
RSPB over a million members participating in large demonstrations.
Internet organisation 38 degrees organises petitions, demonstrations and parliamentary lobbying for campaigns on a wide variety of issues. It claims to have organised 4.6 million political actions by February 201


What are 4 methods of possibly increasing political participation?

1. Compulsory voting
2. Vote at 16
3. Citizenship education
4. E-democracy (digital democracy)


What are the 4 arguments for compulsory voting?

1. It increases turnout
2. Forces people to think about politics
3. People become more used to voting
4. Results have more legitimacy and thus are respected


What are the 4 arguments against compulsory voting?

1. Abuses people's freedom
2. Results may be seen as artificial
3. Costly to enforce
4. Cannot solve the problem of apathy


What are the 3 arguments for vote at 16?

1. Makes the young politically aware
2. Improves the level of identification with politics
3. Makes political education more relevant


What are the 3 arguments against vote at 16?

1. Too young to make judgement
2. Many may not vote
3. There may be a distortion of party policies to attract young voters


What are the 2 arguments for Citizenship education?

1. Improves political knowledge
2. Encourages engagement with politics


What are the 2 arguments against Citizenship education?

1. Education is expensive
2. May not create genuine interest


What are the 4 arguments for E-Democracy (digital democracy)?

1. Provides greater access to politics for citizens
2. Can promote a more direct form of democracy
3. E-voting might increase electoral turnout
4. Internet provides a vast source of independent political information


What are the 3 arguments against E-Democracy (digital democracy)?

1. vulnerable to fraud/hacking
2. Illicit and false information can circulate easily
3. Those who lack technological knowledge might be excluded


What are some examples possibly suggesting that political participation is increasing in some ways? (3)

1. Pressure groups growing in numbers
RSPB over a million members participating in large demonstrations.
2. Increasing use of campaigning through social media
Campaigns against road pricing
3. Growth in direct action
Anti-tuition fees campaign


What is party dealignment?

is a trend or process whereby a large portion of the electorate abandons its previous partisan affiliation, without developing a new one to replace it.