What might be done to encourage more people to vote in elections? BY kuli1994 What might be done to encourage more people to vote in elections? Firstly in this essay I would like to say why voting is relatively important nowadays, the second thing I will discuss is why the public tends to avoid voting on elections, third thing will be an issue of how to encourage more people to vote and lastly I will conclude with my opinion.
Nowadays, in our society, which is mostly democratic, everyone tends to participate in politics. Participation in politics can also be seen as he best way to being informed about political structure and plans. Voting in elections is the most common way of participation. However there are many other ways of participating in politics such as Joining a pressure group, which is an organisation by group of people, who want to protect and promote their ideas. They do not try to get elected unlike political parties.
Joining the political party is also a way of participation but it is more formal and serious. It can also be a participation by contributing financially to a political party or pressure group. Participation in politics by voting is very important in modern world because it can represent the opinion of the general public and how it feels about the important political issues of the current times, that is why it is important to encourage more people to vote and express their opinion.
Also by saying that modern society is based on democracy, higher participation of public in political issues of the country will be a sign of healthy democracy, as democracy promotes the idea of considering and listening to the voices of public, therefore public should be actively motivated for oting on election. Voting in elections represents the simplest way of participation because it does not happen very often, it happens Just every few years.
Some academics believe that in the representative democracy the involvement of the public in decision-making process is better when it is limited to elected representatives, because nowadays the public is very poorly informed of political views and mechanisms, therefore it is good that simple and limited participation as voting occurs, because high level of participation in politics by those misinformed ouseholds might lead to a bad decisions and ungovernability. Therefore the voting in elections is good and not significantly harmful for the politics, so more people should vote overall.
Even though people still manage to avoid voting. Low level of participation could potentially create problems to society. It may happen that certain group or groups of people will gain excessive influence. Therefore the interests of those people, who are not interested in politics, would be ignored. There is another key problem that arises from the luck of voting, government could lose its legitimacy and its decisions could opular reason, political apathy means that individual tend not to have interest in politics and not care about any political decision-making.
Sometimes it can happen because people are badly informed, that usually depends on the location, income, age or education. Age factor seems to be quite significant because older people tend to have more knowledge and experience that related to political performance and political history of the country, therefore they are more likely to vote, as they probably have stronger opinion on how they want politics to be like, as they have something to ompare with which is past years political condition and structure. However elections need more votes from younger population as well, because their opinions and ideas are modern and fresh.
There is another reason of why public does not vote on elections is because, some parties or candidates agree on what is desirable. In their campaigns those parties or candidates promise mostly the same things that would be done such as keeping the inflation low, stable economic growth, high level of employment, therefore for public in general there is no difference which party to vote or, as change of political party or president will not bring any changes to the politics of the country, consequently a lot of potential voters avoid participation in elections.
Another cause of decreasing votes is very similar to previous one, majority of independent individuals think that their participation will make little difference to a political system of the country, because they Just can see that some certain party will obviously win. There is evidence to support this view: for example in the closely contested elections in I-JK in 1974 turnout was high, but it was low in 2001, because it eemed very straight forward that Labour would win.
Some voters feel a luck of mistrust and feel that their political involvement is futile after seeing, for example in Russia the same two candidates running in the presidential elections for last 16 years, either Vladimir Putin or Dmitry Medvedev. Unfortunately it happens that potential voters might be disappointed with the performance of the candidate or party that they usually support, but at the same time might not be tempted to give their vote for any other alternative party, so they take decision not to vote at all.
However some people are happy with the way politics is running in the country or just simply too busy with their live and Job and private life, so do not vote because don’t feel the need to. There could occur that is known as Voter Fatigue”. It refers to the fact that there are too many elections nowadays- General, Local, European and in Scotland and Wales elections to the develop assemblies, plus in London, such as Mayor elections. Public may be tired and not attend all of those events. In 2001 turnout fell to 54. 9%. In 1950 it was 82% and between 1950 and 1970 it was bove 70%.
Those figures seem disappointing, because participation of public in politics fells down. To solve this problem, more people have to be encouraged to vote in elections. The solution is to try to lower the cost of voting, to make it easier to vote. For example the 2001 Representation of the People Act allows any voted to demand a postal vote. That is a quicker way of attending the elections, which would help voter to save more time. This way of encouragement is effective because in 2004 European election was applying postal voting in four regions of England.
The overall turnout in those regions 42. 5% while in the regions without postal voting system the fgure hit simple decision to solve such an issue of lowered turnout. Another proof of its effectiveness is that in 2010 General Elections 15% of votes were made by post. Looking back on those issues it turns out that the reason of decreased voting was the laziness of the people to go to polls and vote. Therefore another way to encourage more people to vote is to make it easier in terms of accessibility. In order to do so, polling stations have to become more accessible.
Instead of situating it at schools, libraries, social halls, it has to be situated in more accessible and convenient place, such as supermarkets or shopping malls, because people visit those places every day and that would not be difficult for them to participate at elections if they already came to the polling station. Apart from accessibility and convenience issues the genuine motives for not participating in politics can be solved using completely different methods. That could be the Campaigns and Media.
Electoral campaigns are becoming more professional n recent years. The role of those two methods is to encourage public to participate more in voting by presenting information about political parties and candidates and explaining which opportunities each of them offer. Therefore the public becomes more aware of the political issues and ideas. That encourages people to support certain ideas and believes, therefore as more people aware of it, more are attracted. Newspapers are the other way to encourage more people to take part in elections.
As newspapers support certain political point and believe, people who read that ewspaper on daily basis, likely to start supporting that point of view, therefore they tend to express their support by voting in elections. However it is controversial because it is unlikely that newspapers will be effective in directing public in right voting decisions because there are far too many newspapers and they tend to represent a huge variety of different opinions, so there still will be people that will choose not to vote, because there are too many opinions from not a trustworthy sources.
That is because that is hard to understand which newspaper is reliable as it s it is very easy nowadays to promote any information. Looking at the full picture, it is possible to encourage more people to vote in elections, but there are too many reasons which make influence public not to vote to each year, therefore it is not possible to solve all of those reasons at the end, as in our modern society people tend to have different and radical believes an ideologies of the way the world suppose to be, simply saying the culture effects the extent to which public can be encouraged to attend elections.
Most commonly non-voting is likely to arise due to a pre-occupation with private life nd disinterest in politics, together with a view that voting will not change much of the todays politics. In my opinion the most effective way to encourage more people to vote in elections would be to simplify political structure for public. By simplifying it, people will be able to understand the basic issues of politics, therefore they will be more aware of in voting because they will want to support or solve the issues they aware of.
That will prevent the leaders image situation, which usually caused by the luck of knowledge, public Just tended to stick to one candidate or a party for several lections in the row, Just because they were getting used to it, that was benefiting the candidate giving him the popularity, so people very basing their vote decisions on the popularity trend, which was not improving or changing the political situation of the country.
BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 . Coxall, B et al (2003) Contemporary British Politics ( Basingstoke: Palgrave) 2. Denver, D (2003) Elections and Voters in Britain ( Basingstoke: Palgrave) 3. Jones, Bet al (2001) Politics I-JK fourth edition ( London: Pearson) 4. Stoker, G (2006) Why Politics Matters (Basingstoke: Palgrave)