Voting Behaviour and Participation Flashcards Preview

A Level Government and Politics > Voting Behaviour and Participation > Flashcards

Flashcards in Voting Behaviour and Participation Deck (53)
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What is the structure of an indirect democracy in the UK

House of Commons, which voters elects representatives to act on their behalf

Government, formed by largest party in the House

Devolved bodies, Scottish Parliament



What are the advantages of a direct democracy

Allows public to decide on everything

Difficult for corruption to influence decisions


What are the disadvantages of a direct economy?

It makes the decision making process slow and inefficient

It's extremely expensive


What are the advantages of an indirect democracy?

They are better suited to modern democracies

The decision making process is much faster and more efficient than in a direct democracy

It's less expensive

The representative of the people are usually experts


What's the disadvantages of an indirect democracy

It can be corrupt

Public may not get what they want


What are the main features of 'liberal democracies'

Free elections
The right to oppose
Popular control of policy markers
Political equality (One person, one vote)
Law making by elected representatives
Majority rule


What does pluralism mean?

It is the existence of diverse centres of economic and political power, involving a choice of political parties and the existence of many pressure groups


What is a Limited Government?

Checks and limitations on the power of the government to secure essential liberties


Civil liberties and rights

The existence of essential public freedoms often written in law (e.g. The freedoms of assembly and speech, the right to vote and to a fair trial)


Open Government

Non-secretive government that can be seen as fair and accountable


What is an independent judiciary

A just, impartial and independence legal system based on equal access to the law


What does the term 'free and open media'

Newspaper and broadcasting being allowed to operate freely without government pressure


What is forced/ manipulated participation?

Where people are forced by law or by police intervention to vote


Examples of where this happens



Examples of elections

Local council elections
Members of devolved assemblies
Members of European Parliament


Voter turnout

Over 75% and some over 90%, w/ exceptionally high figures have compulsory voting laws


What do you have to be to qualify as a voter in the UK

Over 18
Qualifying Commonwealth or citizen of the Republic of Ireland


UK Turnout Figures

1979: 76%
1983: 72.7%
1987: 75.3%
1992: 77.7%
1997: 71.4%
2001: 59.4%
2005: 61.3%
2010: 65.1%


High turnout election examples

October 1974- 72.8
1992- 77.7


Why is turnout so low?

People are becoming increasingly involved in pressure groups so they are not voting

People don't necessarily trust politicians ability to make changes and their reliability (MPs Expenses Scandal)

The move to the centre ground after New Labour, has

Social disengagement, lack of community/ national pride, people are generally more individual


What is the structure of a direct democracy in Ancient Athens

There's an executive council which is chosen directly from the electorate (500 men over 30 who serve for 1 year period)

People's assembly which decides issues of peace and war (Ekklesia)

People's Court which is a selection from a panel of volunteers on a case by case basics


Information about Crewe's survey in the UK/US (1996)

80% of British pupils engaged in little to no political discussion


Information about Parry et al (1992)

Surveyed 1500 people and found 75% were politically active to some degree and the rest were inactive

23.2% were involved in a variety of political activities apart from voting

51% said their only involvement was voting in elections

25.85% were almost inactive


Which Age group is most likely to vote?

The grey vote, they are the most reliable voters


What ethnicities are least likely to participate?

Africans and Caribbeans


What areas are most likely to participate

Urban Areas


What social class is most likely to participate?

Professional and business people, those Ho are better educated because they perceive that political activity affects their everyday lives unlike uneducated and lower classes


What is a 40:30:30 society?

Used to describe a society in which 40% are in secure employment, 30% is in insecure employment (self-employed and part-time workers) and the remaining 30% are socially and economically marginalised, jobless or working for poverty wages


What is the A/B class?

Higher/lower managerial, professional and administrative positions, this is 28% of the population


What is the C1 class?

White collar, skilled, supervisory of lower non-manual... This is 29% of the population