Is political participation in Europe increasing, declining, or simply changing?
Over the years, the word of voter apathy, of people getting tired of politics, consistently has gone round in the media. It is argued that voter abstention proves that politics today is too complex, and too inflexible to find consensus on radical standpoints. In March 2003, however, we could witness the largest scale mass public demonstrations ever seen in many West European countries. In many capitals and major cities across Europe, millions of people went on the streets to demonstrate against the Iraq invasion. In face of these millions of politically concerned people, can the argument of political disinterest still stand?
In the following essay, I will first define the term political participation. Then, I will debate in what ways participation is indeed declining, but also in what ways it is increasing. In my conclusion, I will assert that people do not participate any less than they used to. Nowadays, they simply partake in the political process in many different ways.
Political participation is the active involvement of the people in the political process of decision-making. This is a fundamental principle of democracies. The free access t
It legitimises the representation of the people and therefore the whole political system. o politically relevant information is necessary to allow people to be able to form and voice opinions on matters that applies to them. To them, politicians appear to not connect with "ordinary people". (2002) Social Movements and Democracy, New York: Palgrave, also available online at: http:www. 81) The effects of improving technologies like the Internet and a world getting smaller can be seen. Emails can be sent rallying members together, web sites run the latest news and messages from PG leaders; some can even take donations online. (2002), Individual Characteristics, Institutional Incentives and Electoral Abstention in Western Europe, European Journal of Political Research 41(5) pp.