To What Extent Does Democracy in the Uk Suffer from a Participation Crisis?

1245 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 5 Pages
Politics Essay

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
…show more content…
This shows the interest citizens had in political affairs decreased drastically. The turnout rate did increase however, by the 2010 UK general election the turnout rate was at 65 per cent due to the first ever UK TV debate with the three party leaders: David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg even though it was still below the average turnout rate during 1945 to 1992.
Similarly, party membership in the UK has also decreased over the years. For example the number of people that were registered to Labour party has fallen from over one million members in the mid 1950’s to around 166,000 members in 2009. Conservatives party membership has also fallen. The number of people that were registered to Conservative party has fallen from approx. 2.8 million members in the 1950’s to around 250,000 members in 2009. By 2007, less than 1 per cent of people across the UK belonged to political parties, from 7 per cent 50 years ago. This shows a decline in party membership which is caused by a decline in the voters’ loyalty towards political parties.
Another reason why there is a participation crisis in the UK is the media. The media has a big impact and influence on citizens and the way they vote and support political parties. The media focuses on the political scandals, allegations, incompetence and policy failure of the parties which means that the good things

Related Documents