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Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Rational Choice model of voting behaviour.

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  • Essay length: 1385 words
  • Submitted: 18/01/2010
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AS and A Level United Kingdom

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Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Rational Choice model of voting behaviour (25 marks)

The Rational Choice model also known as the judgmental model states that voters will make a rational and educated choice as to who to vote for in elections. This is done through the consideration of different political parties, ideologies, contemporary issues, leaders and past performances. Voters are not suppose to vote according to their gender, age, ethnic group and social class amongst other factors. Furthermore, they should not let emotions get in their way of making a rational decision.

The Rational Choice model is tied with what voters belief is the best political party for their future, which is mutually exclusive to the needs of contemporary society. It can be argued that citizens will naturally want to vote for the party that best satisfy their short and long term needs thus the Rational Choice model is indeed true.

The first example I will give is the 1979 General Election whereby the Conservative Party defeated the Labour party gaining 43.9% of the vote with Margaret Thatcher being elected. Many of the voters decided Labour was incompetent after the serious industrial

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