Decline of Political Participation What Term Paper

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Other factors include those as follows:

1) Differences in social background characteristics - this accounted for half of the turnout gap between the youngest two cohorts in the study of Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet (2002) which is attributed to a "weaker sense of voting duty."

2) The voters conceived there was little or no actual competition in the political race. (Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet, 2002)

3) Low level of interest and information of those born after 1970. (Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet, 2002)

The authors, Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau, & Nevittet (2002) conclude their work by stating that: "The decline in turnout since the 1988 election does not bode well for the country's democratic health." (Ibid) The work of Dietlind Stolle and Marc Hooghe (nd) hold that each civic generation which is replaced by cohorts of a younger age causes the social capital stock of American communities to slowly diminish. (paraphrased) The study used indicators for substantiation of the claim including: measures for voter turnout, attendance of club meetings, generalized trust, and other factors.

As stated earlier in this work, this work seeks to determine what the significance is in the decline of political participation in Western Democracies. From all that has been garnered in this research it appears that there is less interest in political aspects of society by those been after the year 1970. (Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau & Nevittet, 2002) Furthermore, voting and political participation declines when voters feel that there is no real competition in the political race at hand. (Ibid) Also noted in this study and review of literature is that individuals are less likely to participate in elections and other civic activities than when they are contacted by one of the political parties for support of their election or agenda. (Ibid) This study also concludes with findings that failure on the part of communities and schools to support civic activity and political participation is part of the reason for decline of political participation in Western democracies. (Catt, 2005; Blais, Gidengil, Nadeau & Nevittet, 2002) As noted in this study democracies have three very vital aspects that define and separate a democracy from other forms of government and one of those aspects or elements is as stated by Habermas: "the inclusion of free and equal citizens in the political community..."

While it is certain that no individual can or should be 'made' or forced to participate in political and civic events in their community, it is certain that schools and communities have a very important responsibility in educating its' citizens as to the critical importance of political and civic participation in a democracy.

Bibliography

Catt, Dr. Helena (2005) Now or Never -Children as Young People as Citizens; Participation, Provision and Protection. 6th Child and Family Policy Conference. Paper presented at the symposium 'Citizenship: Learning by Doing." Online available at http://www.elections.org.nz/now-or-never-lit-review.html

Stolle, D. And Hooghe, M. (nd) Inaccurate, Exceptional, One-Sided or Irrelevant? The Debate about the Alleged Decline of Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Western Societies. Online available at: Cambridge Journals Online.

Keller, Douglas (nd) Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention Douglas Kellner

http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/kellner.html

Blais, A., Gidengil, E.; Nadeau, R.; and Nevitte, N. (nd) Generational Change and the Decline of Political Participation: The Case of Voter Turnout in Canada. Online available at http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:47SWoKPmqOQJ:www.youthconference.mcgill.ca/GidengilPaper.pdf+decline+of+political+participation+in+Western+Democ racies&hl=en&gl=us&ct=c lnk&cd=2&client=firefox-a

Decline of Political Participation

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Bibliography

Catt, Dr. Helena (2005) Now or Never -Children as Young People as Citizens; Participation, Provision and Protection. 6th Child and Family Policy Conference. Paper presented at the symposium 'Citizenship: Learning by Doing." Online available at http://www.elections.org.nz/now-or-never-lit-review.html

Stolle, D. And Hooghe, M. (nd) Inaccurate, Exceptional, One-Sided or Irrelevant? The Debate about the Alleged Decline of Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Western Societies. Online available at: Cambridge Journals Online.

Keller, Douglas (nd) Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention Douglas Kellner

http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/kellner.html

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