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Flashcards in Politics and Participation Deck (21)
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What opportunities do UK citizens have to participate in the democratic process?

- Voting or access to elected members like councillors or MPs.
- Standing for election
- Using e-democracy formats to set up online petitions on issues which may be discussed by the UK Parliament.
- Citizens can also access the legal system and try and get the judiciary to make a decision about an issue that concerns them.
- They can work with others in pressure or interest groups to bring about change.


What are the barriers to participation in the democratic process?

- Lack of interest or apathy
- A belief that their participation will not make a difference.
- A lack of faith in politicians and the political process.
- A lack of information or understanding about how to participate.
- The issues are not important to them.
- They lead busy lives.


How could voter participation increase?

- Compulsory voting
- Lowering the voting age to 16
- Allowing online voting.


What are councillors?

Citizens who are elected to serve on local councils.


What is a voter turnout?

the number of voters who actually vote, against the total number who could vote, normally expressed as a percentage.


What are petitions?

- Collections of signatures indicating support for an agreed statement.
- These are used to show the strength of support for the statement.
- Increasingly, petitions are now completed online and are called e-petitions.


What is leafleting?

- Distributing materials that support a particular point of view, often asking for support and/or financial help.


What is lobbying?

- A general term about making your views known to those whose opinions you wish to influence.
- The specific term relates to citizens approaching their MP to raise an issue.
- This is done in the Lobby of the House of Commons.
- Advocacy is a form of lobbying, where a person or group puts forward their ideas to advocate a certain position.
- Often this is done verbally, but it can be in writing.


What is direct action?

- This can take either a non-violent or a violent form.
- Non-violent examples include strikes, occupation of buildings and sit-ins.
- Violent direct action includes destroying property, assault and rioting.
- Direct action can also be when citizens disobey rules or laws that they disagree with.


What are boycotts?

- Deciding not to purchase certain goods or services because of a particular cause.


What are demonstrations?

- These can take many forms, from small groups to mass marches and rallies.


What is media promotion?

- Staging events and protests to attract media attention and publicity.


What is use of celebrity?

- By attracting celebrities, causes are often able to gain media coverage and boost the number of their supporters.


What is the use of e-media?

- This format of campaigning has become increasingly important. E-media enables groups to contact their supporters quickly, give them the latest information and correct any media stories.
- It also enables groups to quickly contact the traditional media (newspapers and television).


What are Police and Crime Commissioners?

- They are directly elected officials who are responsible for the running of each regional police force outside London.


What are pressure groups?

- They are organised bodies of citizens who share a common interest in an issue and through a variety of actions promote their cause.


What are trade unions?

- An employment based group of employees who seek to represent workers in regard to the conditions of employment: for example wages.


What are single-cause groups?

- These pressure groups focus on a single issue: for example, those opposed to the (HS2) high speed train development.


What are multi-cause groups?

- These are groups that seek to influence policy and decisions over a range of issues, such as trade unions that seek to influence policy on pay, hours of work, health and safety, pensions and descrimination etc.


What are protective groups?

- They seek to protect the interests of their members; for example, the British Medical Association which is the professional body that speaks on behalf of the doctors.


What are promotional groups?

- These are groups that wish to promote views to their members and other interested parties on a particular topic. For example Greenpeace is interested in environmental issues.