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A MEANS TO AN END: ANALYZING THE DEMOCRATIC BENEFITS OF POLITICALPARTICIPATIONPOL 101Y1October 13, 2018In recent years, a trend of political apathy has mired politics in Canada, and abroad (Jung,17/9/18). Though equally varied and debated as it’s genesis, the effects of this uninvolvement are1
far less apathetic. Focusing on institutionalized participation, this essay serves to point out the myriad of critical roles political participation plays by analyzing its benefits in a philosophical sense, and in a tangible one. By equipping citizens with a mechanism to express their views, increased political participation is vital to democracy as it holds governments vertically accountable and ensures that the needs of the public are manifest in policy. To begin, it’s important to understand what the nature of political participation is and which types best achieve the goals of vertical accountability and policy which is representative of public views. In the context of my argument, I will be using ‘political participation’ in it’s traditional meaning. That is, institutionalized participation primarily involving voting, donating to or joining political parties, and volunteering during campaigns. Institutionalized participation allows for direct public involvement in the results of elections by helping or hindering various political parties through the ballot or by other forms of support (Jung, 17/9/18). So how then, does voting and campaign involvement allow for vertical accountability, and by extension, why does more of this action ensure more effective governance? In the most fundamental way, a sound democracy relies on its citizens ability to voice their concerns or approval of the government. What’s more, a sound democracy must ensure it’s citizens can