Earlier this month we had our mid-term elections here in the US where a larger number of Governors were up for election, including right here in North Carolina where the race was between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagen and Republican Thom Tiles. Now many people are focusing on who won the seats in the respective states, however, I find it extremely interesting and a little bit scary when you look at the voter turnout. Across the US, the voter turnout was a little over 36% (Montanaro). Think about that for a minute, this one of the few times where the people of this country can exercise their constitutional right in a democracy to influence who governs their own country, and only a little more than a third of the eligible population actually exercised that right – remarkable! I find it very interesting. Why is it that so few of us exercise our right to vote? Is it because we do not care? Is it because we are just fed up with politicians, or is it something else completely? In the video, Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions? Dan Ariely showed us that maybe it is because we do care but because we do not know what to do; we chose to do nothing, i.e. not vote. Perhaps that is why and I would like to explore that, analyze it and potentially come up with some solutions, as I think the poor voter turnout in some ways actually eliminates the democracy that our ancestors have fought so hard for (Ariely). I believe there is a very clear both local and global impact on all of us, as our governor directly impacts the politics and the allocation of funds in our state – it even directly impact GTCC and potentially this class, as at least part of its funding comes directly from the politicians decisions. Globally our votes or lack thereof controls the majority of the congress, which directly influences the laws that might be passed, by the majority. This has direct impact on the financial decisions of the US, which in turns effects many countries around the world. It also influences our military involvement around the whole, which clearly influences the entire world. Those laws also control financial support and aid to countries around the world, and I could probably go on for a long time. Clearly, this is a very important decision that seems to be ignored by so many Americans. Therefore, if we agree that the low voter participation is a problem for our democracy, what are some of the solutions that we could come up with to combat this problem. In doing so I am taking advantage of some of the techniques, which are presented in chapter 9 in The Art of Thinking, one of those techniques is to Force uncommon ideas (Ruggiero. P. 162). So one of the common ideas might be that the problem is new and probably related to modern political ads, new media or people being busy or preoccupied. However, is it really such a new problem? Well when you look at the voter participation, it is clear that this year’s participating in the mid-term was very low. In fact, 36.4% is the lowest participation in 70 years and clearly is lower than recent year’s mid-terms. However, the fact is that it is not much lower, actually, the voter participation in the mid-term has been hovering around 40% since 1940. Whereas the voter participation in the presidential elections have been around 55% in the same period, so even though the current voter participation is very low, it seems to be a problem that has existed in a long time. Therefore, even though they might have an influence, we will probably have to look elsewhere than what is related to our current times (such as ads, media consumptions, general busyness etc.) for a potential area of solution. Since the problem is not related to something strictly connected to any one time in history, but rather transcends different eras, there must be something else that is keeping people from voting. If we use the analogy of the organ donor sign ups in the Ted Talk by Dr. Dan Ariely, then we could suggest that the reason for
Political Participation and Voting: Expressing the Popular Will
I. Voter Participation
A. Factors in Voter Turnout:
The United States in Comparative Perspective
1. Registration Requirements
2. Frequency of Elections
3. Party Differences
B. Why Some Americans Vote and Others Do Not
1. Civic Attitudes…
preferences (Patterson, 2013).
There was still a continual struggle for equality among the African American people. This is why the Voting Rights Act and Martin Luther King Jr. set the stage for all African Americans to be treated equal. This type of equality allows more and more people go to the polls and vote for what they believe in, which in turn helps out voter participation and allows for everyone’s voice to be heard.
The challenges that are faced today regarding the Voting Rights Act…
reasoning; there is something that causes them to just give up . It seems as if the main cause is due to civic competence because many Americans feel as if no changes will be made and don't take part in any of it. America’s voter turnout is so low compared to other wealthy democracies for so many reasons; civic competence, laziness, age, lack of education and political efficacy.
From 1972-1992, less than 55% of high school dropouts voted in the presidential elections( Berke 1). This shows that people who…
elections voters vote on a package of issues: there is no guarantee that they agree with all of them or even that the government will abide by its manifesto. For example in 2010, all major political parties included some commitment to an elected House of Lords in their manifesto and none of them included any suggestion of withdrawal from the EU, therefore, the election gave citizens no opportunity to express an opinion on these issues. In the 2010 general election almost 500,000 Scottish voters voted…
Political parties mobilize voters to win elections and implement policy goals. Parties use their stated policy goals (i.e., their platforms) as a way to mobilize voter support. Generally, in order to be successful in a two-party system, parties must have policy goals across a broad range of issue areas to appeal to a broad range of voters.
For this discussion, you will identify one issue area that you want investigate. Use the resources required for this discussion to gather…
Like most candidates who run under their party's label, presidential candidates must run a
twostrategy race. The first strategy is to gain the party's nomination by winning enough party
delegates in the primary and caucus elections. The second is to win enough votes among all
voters in the general election. In order to accrue delegate support, candidates must determine
the states where they will focus their efforts, and those they will ignore or only nominally
contest. Because the electorates are different in each state, a candidate's particular campaign…
party even the appointed senate. Even thought the senate can amend, debate or introduce new bills he/she rarely does. The PM often reminds its party members of his/her caucus that it is his/her who got them the position in the first place. This is why MPs almost never vote against their own party an example of this is when the Parliament voted on the Farm Credit Corporation Act, 150 Liberals voted in favour and 0 Liberals voted against, you can see the trend in nearly all legislations that were…
Ways in which decisions are made about government, states and public affairs: where power the people'.
In UK democracy, a few govern and the mass of people follow. The electors cast their vote every few years at an elect time.
Limited democracy - voters are giving away the right of decision making to a small number of elected representatives who make decisions on their behald
What are the differences between direct and indirect democracy?
In ancient Athens - every qualified citizen…
Americans are widely known for their lackluster support during elections and even more so, during the midterm election cycles. According to a report from FairVote.org, presidential elections feature around a 55 percent turnout, while midterm elections tend to hover around a dismal 40 percent. The lowest previous turnout in midterms was 39 percent. One common attribution for the disappointing low voter turnout is the public’s loss of faith in the political system and the candidates. Conceded, there…
poll? What is random sampling and why is it important? What is sampling error?
Public opinion poll: nothing more than scientific efforts to measure public opinion.
Random Sampling: one doesn’t overrepresent any portion of the population and whose responses can therefore be safely generalized to the whole, if we don’t use random sampling it will not be an accurate depiction of public opinion
Sampling error: a number that indicate how reliable the poll is
3. Why should we be cautious in reading…