• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

From what extent does the UK suffer from a participation crisis?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐To what extent does Democracy in the United Kingdom suffer from ?participation crisis?? There has been a decline in turnout at UK general elections and in other forms of political participation for over half a century now, but does it amount to a suffering democracy in a participation crisis. Key forms of participation, such as voting and party membership have declined significantly over time but other, newer, faster forms of participation has arisen and are rapidly becoming more popular to the newer generations. The problem is, do these new forms damage the heart of our nation, the Democracy? ?Popular engagement with the formal processes and institutions of democracy has been in long-term decline since the 1960s?. The decline in electoral turnout is perhaps the most obvious reason why there seems to be a crisis of democracy in Britain. At 59.4 per cent, the turnout in the 2001 election was the lowest in over half a century. And it is not just at general elections that turnout has fallen. ...read more.


The media have played a huge part in the decline of participation in the UK?s political system. The media are looking to sell as many stories they possibly can and one way is to focus on the negatives of the political parties and politicians involved with those parties. They look to exploit scandals and focus on the pessimistic and very politically unrelated stories in order to sell newspapers and attract viewers. It is clear that these stories should be reported but in the way they are and how they are advertised and exploited completely overshadows the real politically activity that is so important. The expenses scandal was a clear showing with a select group of MPs that had made some fiddled with their expenses and was exposed by the Telegraph. I agree that was the correct thing to do but what came next has created a legacy that years on is still lingering. The media continued the stories for weeks and months just clinging to stories and shaming the whole political system. ...read more.


Also it may be argued that people demonstrate when they find the normal method weak or infective. The democracy must be seen as weak when people have to take to the streets to show their distaste at political ideology. This highlights that though orthodox methods of participation may be declining, people, in this democracy can still go out and express their views and have the ?freedom of speech?. In conclusion, Political participation is important, not simply because it is the beating heart of a healthy democracy, but because it is directly related to the effectiveness of government. Low levels of participation seem to be associated with ineffective governments. Though some forms of participation in Britain are increasing, others are declining. The problem, however, is that the forms which are declining, like electoral voting and party activism, are central to democracy and the effectiveness of government. The forms that are increasing, such as consumer participation, are not central, although important and therefore do not improve the situation. In this sense, there is a crisis of democracy and participation in Britain today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. How, and with what success, have governments attempted to improve the provision of health ...

    On the other hand others may argue this has not attempted to improve the provision of health care as September 2002 saw that private involvement 'Is a privatisation of stealth' is what health unions state as it primarily undermines the foundations of the NHS, that health care should be free rather a price being paid.

  2. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    Other would argue that New labour, despite its reforms, have failed to tackle the problems of the UK's democratic system. First, the introduction of devolution has strengthened democracy by giving a stronger and more independent political voice to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  1. Evaluate the above statement and consider the extent to which you think it is ...

    the UK will show that the legislature and the executive are to all intents and purposes fused, and effectively under the control of the Prime Minister: it is basic logic that explains the practical fusion of the executive and legislative organs of government.

  2. Democracy and Voting

    * Tactical voting - voting for the least objectionable candidate, or intentionally voting against a particular candidate. How does the AV system work? * The country is divided usually into single member constituencies. * Voters would rank their candidates in order of preference (1 being their favourite etc)

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the various ways in which participation and democracy could be ...

    It would also lead to an increase in political awareness and education because, once people are compelled, it is logical that they would make a greater effort to cast an informed vote. Moreover, an increase in politically aware citizens with a wealth of knowledge could imply an increase in levels of active participation in other form of political life.

  2. Critically assess the extent to which there is a crisis in participation in UK ...

    The 2010 election saw the Liberal Democrat party receive 23% of the popular vote, yet only receive 8% of the seats in the House of Commons. This illustrates many votes are wasted under the disproportionate first-past-the-post voting system; it is therefore no wonder voters will choose not to exercise their right to vote on Election Day.

  1. Apart from referendums, explain three ways in which democracy in the UK could be ...

    The disadvantages being it could give third parties an unfair influence by giving them the balance of power and also it is tough for one government to rule. Jenkins also proposes the AV (Alternative Vote ) this is used in the Australian House Of Representatives.

  2. The Labour Government's response to the 2008 economic crisis was reckless and irresponsible. Discuss

    Three years on and the economy is still flat lining and many see double dip recession as a real possibility. Perhaps then, Labour's response in terms of the banking sector was somewhat responsibly reckless. This is due to the fact that other westernised countries followed suit.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work