To What Extent Does Democracy in the Uk Suffer from a Participation Crisis?

To what extent does Democracy in the UK suffer from a Participation Crisis?

Participation in UK democracy has been a major issue for the Government, which it has been trying hard to address. Democracy is rule by the people and in the UK it has mostly been agreed that we have a liberal democracy. The way in which people participate in a liberal democracy like ours is through local and general elections where it gives the public a chance to vote on who they feel best represents them. The Government however, are looking for an increase in any form of political participation, which can include party membership and pressure groups. In this I will look at what to what extent if any the UK is suffering from a participation crisis.

The best place to start would be to look at the figures and trends in most forms of political participation and to compare it to around fifty years ago when it is agreed political participation was fairly good. Looking at the general elections to start off with, in the 1950’s the turnout averaged around 82%, which in any case is a very good turnout. Compare to this to the last three general elections where turnout averaged 61% there is a large drop. This is a big drop and enough to worry any politician that people are less and less interested in politics, and are feeling more detached from the people that are making the key decisions about their day-to-day life. This would indicate that there could be a participation crisis in the UK democracy however due to recent trends in the turnout of these general elections it is argued that participation is back on the increase and that this was only a dip in political participation. For example in 2001 the turnout for the general election was 59.1% but this rose to 65.1% in 2010. Although this doesn’t seem like a giant leap, a 6% leap in nine years is enough to suggest that this could have merely been a lull in UK political participation. This can also be backed up by the fact that pressure group...