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4 Cards in this Set
What are the main forms of political participation?
- Voting in local, regional and national forms of electing representatives.
- Getting a party/pressure group membership.
- Campaigning, by wearing party badges, putting up campaign posters, canvassing, attending meetings etc...
- Putting your name forward for constituency election.
- Lobbying, such as writing to elected representatives.
- Taking part in radio/phone-in broadcasts.
- Taking part in opinion poll and focus group surveys.
- Direct action protest, such as demonstrations, boycotting, vandalism and violence.
- Making donations to political parties.
What are the three main political involvement levels, according to Milbrath and Goel's 1977 studies?
- Political gladiators, represent the small section of the population that are actively involved in all sorts of politcal activities. From the normal vote, to canvassing.
- Political spectators - represent a large section of the population who observe political activity most of the time, but are still active with voting.
- Political apathetics - represent the non-participants in our society, who don't observe politics or reflect on its outcome.
What are the long term determinants of voting behaviour?
Age - Those from 18-35 years of age are the least likely to vote. This can be influenced by short term factors such as party campaigning which appeals to this group.
Ethnic origin - afro caribbeans have obviously been alienated by our political system as they have the lowest voting turnout.
Gender - Men are traiditonally more likely to vote than women, even though there are more women living in the UK than men.
Location of residence - Participation is more likely to occur in urban areas than rural areas.
Social class - working class people vote less than middle and upper class people.
Party reputation - a party's long term reputation will influence voters in their decision.
Partisan dealignment/alignment - will determine voting behaviour.
What are the short term determinants of voting behaviour?
Opinion poll and focus group results by surveyers such as MORI - have both been proven to shape the public vote (as well as reflect it) if published pre-election time.
Campaign budgets - the amount that each party spends on their election campaigning and advertisement can heavily influence voting behaviour. For example; historically the Conservatives have won more general elections than Labour and traditionally spend more. Therefore these two must be related.
Backing of the media - the party with the most backing from the media is a major determinant of voting behaviour as many are heavily influenced by printed media, broadcast media and advertisement. Usually whoever wins the backing of Rupert Murdoch's monopoly wins the general election.
Party leaders - party leaders at the time of general elections can heavily influence voting behaviour. For example; those who do not usually vote a certain way, may be influenced by a charasmatic leader.
Random events - are strong influences of voting behaviour, and can end a party's hopes of winning, or increase them. For example; Neil Kinnock's Labour were expected to win the 1987 general election but an unfortunate film of him falling over on Brighton beach and his bizarre 'We're alright' speech at the 87 Labour conference played into the hands of the Tories. Subsequently, he lost. In contrast, Maggie Thatcher looked certain to lose the 1983 general election and was labelled the most unpopular Prime Minister of all time. But a quick decisive win in the Falklands war guaranteed a Conservative win.
Economy - the state of the economy at the time of general elections is a determinant of voting behaviour. For example; if there is financial crisis and a particular party promises to end it, it makes them more popular. This was a major factor during the 2010 general election.