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Low Voter Turnout - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Low Voter Turnout” the author discusses voter turnout of General Elections, which fell to a historic through of 59.4 percent followed by a slight increase of 61.3 percent in the 2005 elections. The 2001 results alone sent shockwaves throughout the British media and the political system…
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Low Voter Turnout
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Download file to see previous pages The last time that the turnout results registered this percentage was in 1918 where many of the registered voters were just beginning to return after the end of World War I. For the first time since 1923, the total number of those who did not exercise their voting rights was larger than the number of voters that determined the winning party. Knowing all of these statistics, the British political system became worried and there was much-generated fanfare. The main concern over the 2005 elections was not who won for what seat. Instead, it was how many cared to participate in the elections.
Why is it that British voters are not turning up in polls? There are different, though not necessarily unrelated, theories explaining these social phenomena. Voter turnout is considered to be an index that can be used to assess the state of democracy in the country concerned. A decline in voter turnout can be considered as a decline in democracy. It can indicate that the political system is becoming authoritative and imposing such that the people are dissuaded or inhibited in exercising their voting rights. The legitimacy of the government is put into question because the decrease may imply a lack of representation of certain groups. (Rose, 1997)
According to Ellis et al (2006, p.12), political participation is influenced by the degree of fragmentation of political parties (i.e. political ideologies) and the meaning of the results of the election itself to the community. Pontusson and Rueda (2006) tied voter participation with ideological attachments with the Left and the Right. Voters historically and ideologically align themselves to form core constituencies. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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