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Is There a Crisis in Political Participation in the U.K?

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Is There a Crisis in Political Participation in the U.K?

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  • October 2012
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Is there a crisis in political participation in the UK?
Thirty years ago, four in ten people in Britain trusted government to put the needs of the nation above those of their political party; today, just one in five do so. Whilst voting numbers are severely decreased levels of non-electoral political participation are at an all-time high because people feel more engaged with politics that way People believe they possess the skills to participate in politics and express interest in politics but less people can identify with a certain political party The radical constitutional reforms in 1997 have had very little effect on citizen attitudes. Three explanations are commonly offered for the decline in political trust: the incapacity of governments, the decline in social trust and the role of the media, in particular the tabloid press. A lot of people struggle to see the difference between the two main parties running for election, so don’t understand the point of voting. Whilst a lot of decline in political interest from the public has started as late back as the 1990’s, it may be too late to reverse the decline due to young people’s attitudes towards politics. On the other hand, young people still have an idealist opinion of politics in most cases so there interest in politics could spike. Voting numbers and public protest would suggest people have more apathy to politics than an active interest. Although people are taking part in politics more it is still only a minority of the population taking part in things like protests. Whilst this would suggest people are protesting instead of voting people that participate in these ways are actually more likely to vote than those who don’t. Non-electoral participation is an addition to, rather than a substitute for, taking part in the electoral process. Few of those without any qualifications report having done anything other than signing a petition, while almost two-thirds have not done anything at all. In contrast, only...

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