Political Participation

Topics: Political party, Politics, Conservative Party Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: February 15, 2013
Is there a political participation crisis in the UK?
There is a political participation crisis in the UK. This can be seen; from relevant data that party membership in 1980 for all parties was 1,693,156 citizens, 4.12% of the vote-eligible populous. Worryingly, in 2012 the amount of citizens with a membership to a party had plummeted to 387,000. The percentage of citizens this represented was a miniscule 0.80%. This shows, as each generation becomes of age to vote, the amount of people participating in political parties declines. This may imply that younger generations are less interested in politics as older generations it could also infer that the younger generations are not as well educated in politics. There also seems to be a voting crisis as the turnout in the past elections was incredibly high, such as Margaret Thatcher’s landslide 1979 win where the turnout was 76% of the electorate. However in 2001 the turnout had fallen to a very low 59.4%. Although this may not seem to be much of a big issue, if a government is not elected by the majority of the populous then they cannot have legitimate power in government. The membership of individual parties such as the conservative party, had a very high party membership in 1951 with 2,900 members which has decline over several years to 250 party members. This shows that less potential party members are joining parties and taking an active role in one. Perhaps implying that people do not want to associate themselves with a party which they feel has not performed well in government in their previous terms in government. There has also been a major decline in participation in referendums as the referendum on the greater London authority with an elected mayor, only 34.1% of people who could have voted in this referendum actually voted bringing into question whether or not the majority of the populous actually want a greater London authority as only 34.1% even voted in the referendum. However, as voting rates have...
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