Participation Crisis Essay

Submitted By Will-Blatch
Words: 1592
Pages: 7

Is there a participation crisis in the UK?
People consider that we have a participation crisis because of the fact that votes from the electorate have declined. I will discuss this during this essay.

A participation crisis is the view that declining levels of political participation in the UK threaten to undermine its democratic systems. By having a poor participation it shows that people have lost interest in politics, it could be because the government or parties don't stand for what they used to or maybe it's because they don't live up to any of their promises. From the figures, we can see that there is a possible participation crisis, from 2001 to
2010 we see a big decline in figures. In 2001 the turnout was 59.4%, 2005 was 61.3% and 2010 was 65%, although these figures are rising year by year if we compare them to
1979 where the turnout was 76% we can see there has been a big decline in the amount of people that are voting. We also see that there is a decline in the amount of people joining political parties this is something that was quite common for people to do around the 70's and 80's. In 1983 3.8% of the electorate were members of political parties this is compared to now where there are less than 1% who are a member of a party. In comparison to this the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has 1.2 million members, this is more than the amount of members for political parties. In the United Kingdom we have seen that political parties have become more centralised, by this I mean that the
Conservative party used to be right wing and the Labour party used to be left wing but we have seen now that parties are getting closer to the middle to try and appeal to everyone.
I think that by doing this it is putting people off of voting because parties aren’t standing for what they used to, this could be why in 1979 the turnout was 76% as the parties were more different and stood for their own beliefs to help their class of people. Another reason that we may have a crisis in the UK is because most of the younger generation don’t have an interest in politics, so therefore by not having an interest in politics they won’t cast a vote. I think that it is extremely important for the younger generation to have an interest as the things that are being done now will affect them later on in life. Young people may not vote because of apathy, this is where the person has a lack of interest and enthusiasm on the subject or because they feel alienated. They may feel alienated or apathetic because the parties aren't trying to appeal to the younger generation or because the decisions that are being made aren't affecting them. In the 2010 election only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted, I personally think that this is very low. Obviously not only young people feel apathetic and alienated but I think that this age group is the most affected. I also think that a reason that there may be a participation crisis in the UK is because of the lack of faith people have in MP's. There have been a lot of stories about scandals, for example the expenses scandal where MP's were buying items and then claiming the money back, this money was coming from tax payers, another scandal was the phone hacking although not exactly to do with politics it caught a lot of attention because David
Cameron had hired Andy Coulson as the Director of Communications, this meant that some people loss faith in David Cameron because of his decision choices, this could therefore result in less people voting because of lack of faith. There is also the issue of

untruths,§ If there is an issue in a constituency and the MP says they they will bring it up but they don't it won't go down well within the constituency and people may therefore lose faith and then may not vote because they don't feel like they are being heard this will then cause less people to vote which would lead to a participation crisis.

On the other hand there might not be a participation crisis because people