Political Participation in the Uk.

Topics: Tony Blair, Democracy, United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1446 words) Published: January 22, 2013
In a country based on representative democracy, a ‘fair’ system, it is questionable to say we as the public make the most of this opportunity. Whilst other nations are fighting against the intense grips of dictatorships, as we have seen recently in Libya and Egypt, we live in a system in which to instigate change, we simply have to turn up at a ballot box and cast a vote. But with voting numbers continuously dwindling, does the United Kingdom have a participation crisis? The most efficient way to judge this is to go straight to the figures, and on first glance the statistics are startling. The percentage of people that voted in 2001 was an astonishing record low of 59%, down over 10% from the previous election in 1997. Comparing both of these results to a 83.9 voting percentage of 1950, shows a dramatic change in the value the British people place in their vote. The two recent elections however in 2005 and 2010 have bucked this trend, achieving percentages of 61.5 and 65 giving the impression that voting is on the rise. But with only these two results showing increases in recent history, it is impossible to view this as a positive correlation. When looking at these figures we have to look at the groups of people who didn’t exercise their right to vote, with the majority of them falling in to the 18 to 24 year old category. Only 44% of the 18 to 24 age group casted a ballot in the 2010 election in comparison to the 76% turnout figure of the over 65's. The general consensus of the political spectrum of the youth population is that it is firmly to the left. Given these facts it is arguable to say that if the turn out for the 2010 general election had been higher, we could have easily had a Labour or Liberal Democrat government which would have had major effects on the current policies in place in the UK. To go even further, if the voting percentage had been 100% in all the previous elections, it is claimable that every government the UK has had would be different,...
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