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    Participationin the traditional forms of political activity does appear to have declined;from the 1970s political scientists have wrote about different groups of peopleengaged at different levels from gladiators through to spectators and to finallyapathetics, a group which appears to be growing .Traditional Westminsterparties can look the same, ‘catch-all’ mainstream parties which have lost theirideological distinctness and whose personnel all look like middle class membersof professional political elite. In 1997turnout was a reasonably high 71.3%, however it was particularly low in innercities, perhaps reflecting a complacency in safe labour areas. There was disillusionmentamong some “old labour” votes and some members of ethnic minorities. In otherareas, an estimated 2 million conservatives abstained. There was widespreadapathy as many thought correctly that the election was foregone conclusion withBlair winning 418 of the seats. By 2001 there was a drop in turnout to 59%;government worries led to experiments with access to voting in some localcouncil election in May 2000 and to the reform of the electoral register. Howeverthe only significant uptake was in postal voting .In 2005turnout slightly increased to 61%. Many people were again apathetic, especiallyamongst the youth who were down to 37%. According to Worcester, over 40% ofnon-voters, the largest minority, claim to be labour. 2010 improved to 65% dueto talk of a hung parliament and the election was seen as a close run thing. However,turn out did noticeably improve in closely fought seats but not in safe seatswhere turnout remained low among blacks; with young voters it was up from 37%to 44%, perhaps encouraged by the TV debates. Voters did not appear moreincline to abstain by the MP’s expenses scandal. In 2015 the prospect of a hungparliament saw a modest rise to 66% but again no noticeable difference betweenage groups, races and socio-economic groupsAgain turnout in secondary elections is low reflecting the public’s perception of localcouncils, devolved assemblies and the EU Parliament as relatively unimportantalthough the latter tends to see more engagement by anti-EU voters. Most butnot all referendums have seen turn-out at 40% and below again a reflection ofthe public’s lack of interest. This is most apparent with the 2011 AVreferendum with 67.9% of a 42% turnout rejecting the idea.Only about1% of the electorate are members of mainstream parties and the figures havecontracted considerably since the 1950s. In 2015 it was estimated Labour hadabout 270,000 individual members ( a noticeable rise since Corbyn’s campaign) comparedto 1 million in the 1950s while Tory membership has sank to about 149,800compared to a supposed 3 million again in the 1950s and independent sourcesargue it is now below 100,000. The Lib Dems have about 59,000 members, recoveringfrom a drop after Clegg agreed to coalition government. In contrastthe membership of minor parties has ebbed and flowed; the BNP peaked in 2009with 12,600 members falling back to 7,700 in 2011. Ukip, however, has gone fromstrength to strength particularly peaking in EU election years; 16,000 in 2011but 26,000 in 2004 and now claiming 42,000 while in 2015 the Greens saw a riseto nearly 44,000. Membershipfigures of traditional pressure groups again have fallen from 13.2 million in1979 to 6.4 million in 2014 reflecting the decline in heavily unionised manualblue collar employment and the rise of white collar service industries. Incontrast, Miliband’s changes to Labour membership in which trade unionists haveto now join as individuals not en bloc ironically saw a rise in Labour Party individualmembership to 350,000. Again recent government austerity cuts have promptedstrikes and demonstrations by public sector workers and students.However,there has been a rise of cause or promotional groups. The RSPB now has over 1million members while the National Trust has over 4 million. Although manymembers may be only ‘chequebook members’ more interested in the socialfacilities it was estimated in 2008 that 40-50% of the electorate belonged tovoluntary groups and 20% to two or more. From the 1970s onwards therehas been an increase in participation in new politics and social movements. Interms of women’s rights these have grown since the 1960s, the peace movement,civil rights especially for ethnic minorities, women and gays and anti-capitalistand anti-globalisation protests. They often involve both violent andnon-violent direct action, marches and sit-ins. Some campaigns unite a wholehost of groups.During 2005, the Make Poverty History campaign, a coalition of charities,religious groups, trade unions, campaigning groups and celebrities such as BobGeldof mounted a series of activities aimed pressuring governments into taking action to relieve global poverty. Suchcampaigns may not always been successful but do show high levels of engagementas in the Stop the War demonstrations of February 2003 in over 600 citiesacross the globe attracting one million in London alone.
    Therehas been, some argue ‘a transformation of democracy’ (Naughton) with internet activism, i.e. the use ofelectronic communication technologies such as socialmedia,especially Twitter and Facebook, YouTube, e-mail, and podcasts.Naughton argues that this results in ‘real-time tracking of public opinion’,turning ‘ordinary people’ into broadcasters as well as democratic movers andshakers in e-petitions and online citizens’ forums. 38 Degrees is aBritish not-for-profit organisationthat campaigns on a wide range of issues. It describes itself as "progressive"and claims to "campaign for fairness, defend rights, promote peace,preserve the planet and deepen democracy in the UK". In October 2013, itwas reported to claim 1.9 million UK members.

    Acrisis more in traditional methods of political activity especially inelectoral turn out but, despite Puttnam's 'Bowling Alone' arguments, thedevelopment of new avenues of political participation. Nevertheless there is still a crisis inrepresentative democracy as low turnout undermines both executive andparliamentary legitimacy.

    Any tips for how i can improve this?
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    (Original post by CallumEllison97)

    Any tips for how i can improve this?
    Really good essay that, despite not knowing what the question is xD
    You included loads of examples but maybe just bring some more theory in.
    I would think its a 22/23 out of 25
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    (Original post by govtandpolitics)
    Really good essay that, despite not knowing what the question is xD
    You included loads of examples but maybe just bring some more theory in.
    I would think its a 22/23 out of 25
    Thanks how much theory would you say to bring in? and would it best putting it near the start of end? It was just a general one on participation
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    (Original post by CallumEllison97)
    Thanks how much theory would you say to bring in? and would it best putting it near the start of end? It was just a general one on participation
    I would say try to include some theory for every other point, so that your examples are well backed up. So maybe include theory on the POWER Report 2006, the idea of a participation crisis, reasons for low turnout (apathy/"hapathy"), etc...
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    (Original post by govtandpolitics)
    I would say try to include some theory for every other point, so that your examples are well backed up. So maybe include theory on the POWER Report 2006, the idea of a participation crisis, reasons for low turnout (apathy/"hapathy", etc...
    Oh ok yea i get you, thanks for the help
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    What do you think the electoral systems essay will be?
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    (Original post by Boonser)
    What do you think the electoral systems essay will be?
    pr with fptp
    • Thread Starter
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    Could someone briefly explain the concepts of Apathy / Hapathy to me? It's the one area of participation that I can't quite understand for one reason or another
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    any predictions for electoral systems and pressure groups?
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    ‘Pressure group action poses a threat to the form of representative democracy practisedin Britain.’ Discuss.

    Completely stuck, any help/ideas?
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    Can anyone explain why the SNP has become so popular in recent elections even though Scottish people said no to independence please?
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    (Original post by CellucorC4)
    ‘Pressure group action poses a threat to the form of representative democracy practisedin Britain.’ Discuss.

    Completely stuck, any help/ideas?
    I think this focuses on 'tyranny of the minority', where the ideals of a minority (the pressure group) are forced upon the majority, which goes against representative democracy where everyone has a say.

    Pressure group action also bypasses Parliament, where their proposals would be looked at thoroughly with debate and deliberation, so it again sidelines the democratic process.
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    (Original post by Rachaellllll)
    Can anyone explain why the SNP has become so popular in recent elections even though Scottish people said no to independence please?
    There has been a general UK trend toward parties outside the classic duopoly, e.g. UKIP gaining almost 4m votes in 2015, and in Scotland which is generally more liberal than England at least they have tended to support Labour. However, as the SNP has risen by means of the Scottish Parliament and the powers granted there, they have proven they are a credible party to oppose the Tories with the added benefit that they are Scotland-centric and Scottish Labour has been paired with the national Labour party in 'not opposing austerity enough' and things like that.
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    (Original post by Jack_Joff)
    Could someone briefly explain the concepts of Apathy / Hapathy to me? It's the one area of participation that I can't quite understand for one reason or another
    third post in a row

    Voter hapathy is best shown I think with the turnout at the 2001 GE - the lowest in history at 59% - as people were largely satisfied with the Labour government that were elected by landslide in 1997. It refers to people not voting out of content or 'happiness', hence 'hapathy'.

    Voter apathy refers to voters not turning up to vote for numerous reasons. It could be that they feel they aren't represented by any party, they feel that their vote doesn't make a difference (especially in the 2 party system), they don't understand/know enough about politics or any other number of factors

    Hope this clarifies a little
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    (Original post by olmyster911)
    third post in a row

    Voter hapathy is best shown I think with the turnout at the 2001 GE - the lowest in history at 59% - as people were largely satisfied with the Labour government that were elected by landslide in 1997. It refers to people not voting out of content or 'happiness', hence 'hapathy'.

    Voter apathy refers to voters not turning up to vote for numerous reasons. It could be that they feel they aren't represented by any party, they feel that their vote doesn't make a difference (especially in the 2 party system), they don't understand/know enough about politics or any other number of factors

    Hope this clarifies a little
    Fantastic, thank you!
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    (Original post by olmyster911)
    x
    What exam/ essay technique are you using?
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    (Original post by CellucorC4)
    What exam/ essay technique are you using?
    I don't really have a technique as such
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    (Original post by olmyster911)
    I don't really have a technique as such
    do you do alot of evaluation?
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    (Original post by CellucorC4)
    do you do alot of evaluation?
    Isn't that a given with these essays? :P
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    (Original post by Rachaellllll)
    Can anyone explain why the SNP has become so popular in recent elections even though Scottish people said no to independence please?
    Also although most people said no, 45% still voted yes which would be quite a considerable portion of the population. I think although SNP is seen as focusing on Scottish independence, it just generally focuses on representing Scotland's needs which is something Scottish Labour hasn't been able to do as effectively over recent years.
 
 
 
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