Flashcards in Political Disengagement Deck (34):
How many of the UN member states are electoral democracies?
118/193 — over 60%
Why is it important to be an electoral democracy?
- Electoral democracies are the most developed countries
- Link between democracy, free market and prosperity
- Authoritarian governments less interested in well being
What proportion of countries are full democracies?
Only 15% of countries
11% of global population
What proportion of countries are authoritarian states?
31% of countries
37% of global population
Why is it difficult to compare democracies?
- Different social and cultural factors
- I.e. you could probs compare Brazil and Argentina but not really Brazil and Germany
- USA is always an exceptional case
What does decreasing political participation mean in reality?
- Decreased voter turnout
- Decreased engagement in political system
Where was the UK on the 2010 democracy index?
What is turnout usually in the USA?
(Look at slides to improve this question)
Between 50-60% which is unhealthy
In 1996 it was below 50% (which means less people turned out than didn’t)
Beacon of democracy?
What is happening to party membership?
- Conservatives fell very fast between 1970s to 1990s (but if you went to a Conservative club which were social clubs you had to be a member)
- Labour membership is increasing- young people (but only a very small proportion of the electorate in total)
How big is Labour (membershipwise)?
- The biggest party in Europe
- Will probs peak at some point
What happens to political engagement after voting?
- it falls really quickly
- 61% of people vote in general elections
- 37% signed a petition
- 4% attended a political meeting
3% took part in a demonstration, active part in a political campaign, donated money to a party
Young peoples voter engagement?
- Really bad!
- Interest- not much or not at all over 50% at all education levels (12-19 year olds)
- Check essay but basically young people don’t vote because as more young people are living at home / going to uni so young people are growing up later (Kimberlee)
What’s the average age for conservative members?
Claimed to be 72
(Bow group, 2017)
What proportion of British people trust the government?
Is it bad that people do not trust the government?
- Yeah because you should be able to trust the people who represent you
- Healthy scepticism- shows that people are educated and care
What are the solutions for disengagement?
1. Recapture a politics for everyone
2. Put the politics back into politics
3. Compulsory voting
What is meant by recapture a politics for everyone?
Based on (Stoker, 2007, Why politics matters)
- Without citizen engagement democracy isn’t democracy
- Encourage everyone to get involved
- Politics shouldn’t be professionalised- addressing valence issues is more important
- More deprived areas have lower voter turnout
- Increase understanding of politics- education
What is meant by put the politics back into politics?
Based on (Hay, 2007, Why we hate politics)
- Top down approach
- Problem is with politicians
- Disputes the OECD link between free market and freedom to vote
What is meant by compulsory voting?
- Make people participate
- You can still spoil the ballot paper
- Australia does this ($20 fine)
- forcing acknowledgement of the election might inspire people to learn more about the election
What are the problems with compulsory voting?
- Right to a private life- compulsory voting not in the spirit in democracy
- People won’t take it seriously
What politics is beyond the reach of democracy?
- Civil servants
- Think tanks
Russell Brands influence
- Young, poor, BAME people
- 10 million Twitter followers
- YouTube channel- idemocracy
- Interviewed Ed Milliband
What’s the difference between peoples support for democracy and politics?
- People are very supportive of democracy
- Wary of politics- institutions, processes and politicians
- Politics seen as elitist, power hoarding and majoritarian (Lijphart)
Why does it matter that younger and poorer people are increasingly less likely to vote? (3)
- Cohort effect- young people don’t get into participatory habits
- Policy effect- policy aimed at older people because their votes matter more
- Those from disadvantaged/ disengages communities decreasing commitment to society
Which communities was the 2015 election turnout particularly low in?
- Working class
- BME people
- The people most likely to vote are also most likely to vote Tory
What is Anti-Politics?
- More about anti-establishment —> asking for a different type of politics
- Led to a lack of proper debate and increased fantasy pledges
- Labour and Lib Dem’s played on anti-elitist feeling
- Politicians took selfies and were interviewed by celebs- (David Cameron presented this as frightening)
What were the alternative parties’ focuses in 2015?
- Greens - sustainability
- SNP- anti austerity
- UKIP - take back control
(These parties thrived, anti establishment not anti politics)
Which voters were least likely to trust politicians?
- Green/UKIP votes
- LibLabCon voters more likely to trust them
What problem does Hay recognise?
- In the UK Politics is seen as sleezy, corrupt, greedy, self interested, inefficient, interfering
- People do not trust politicians (partly because politicians are such a distant "them")
According to Stoker, why are people so disillusioned with politicians and politics?
- Emphasis on individual choice and consumerism has created a challenging environment for collective decision making
- domination by professionals makes ordinary people fell like spectators rather than critical citizens
- Mainstream media promotes only a surface understanding of issues and cynicism
- Globalisation has complicated politics
How was the Make Poverty History campaign (2005) an example of politics for amateurs?
- Reached out to millions of people who were political novices
- Hope- that people could make a difference
- Bottom up- started at schools, bus stops, places of work and built up to leadership and elite institutions
- Everyone was welcomed into the movement
What are Hay's three forms of depoliticization?
- displacement of decisions from government to quasi-independent bodies
- The shift from being an active consumer rather than active citizen- solutions in private rather than public sector
- issues blamed on fate and therefore uncontrollable- e.g. globalisation
According to the Power Commission UK in 2009 what is the cause of disengagement?
- Feeling of little influence over political decisions
- Citizens lacking information about public policy
- Main parties appearing too similar and lacking in principle