To what extent does democracy in the UK suffer from a participation crisis? (25 marks)
There are a lot of ways in which citizens can participate in politics in the UK without necessarily having to vote for example: joining a political party, boycotting, and even signing petitions and fund raising. However, there is an argument that there has been a participation crisis over the past years in the UK. A participation crisis is when less and less citizens take part in political activities; this can be shown in the decrease of voter turnout and the level of participation. On the other hand, there is an argument that there is in fact not a participation crisis because the turnout of voting is increasing and specific forms of participation are also on the rise. In this essay, I will be arguing whether or not the UK is suffering from a participation crisis and if we are suffering to what extent. The main concern about democracy in the UK comes from evidence of rising political apathy. Some people have seen this as nothing more than a ‘participation crisis’. Can democracy be classed as healthy when more and more voters every year seem to be unconcerned or reluctant to engage in political life? Deteriorating rates of voter turnout and falling levels of party membership despite there being opportunities for participation show evidence. There are three main reasons to show why there is a participation crisis in the UK. The first reason is the public. Due to people’s interest in materialism, individualism and lack of community, citizens fail to pull together and look out for each other, which decreases the interest and connection they have in politics. Decreasing rates in party membership and electoral turnouts is part of a process that’s seen less interest in political affairs as citizens seem to care more about themselves and family rather than their neighbours and society as a whole. The voting turnout over the past years has been inconsistent....
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