govt 2301 ch 8 review

govt 2301 ch 8 review - & Political Participation...

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&&&& Political Participation Participation may be a function of what the government does to make it easier or harder for citizens to participate. The United States has one of the lowest turnout rates of all the Western democracies. In the 1996 and 2000 Presidential elections, only about half of eligible voters cast ballots. In 2004 Presidential elections, voter turnout rose to 59 percent due to major voter mobilization efforts. Voter turnout in midterm elections is usually even lower. This low voter turnout may be a by-product of mechanisms that make it more difficult to participate in the democratic process (e.g., voter registration, timing of election, complexity of voting devices). Another explanation for the low turnout may be that our political institutions are more geared towards raising money than mobilizing the electorate. I. In what different ways do Americans participate in politics? Why is voting the most important form of political participation? Voting is seen as the normal or typical form of political activity. Other forms of participation require more effort, time or money than voting. Historically, participation in riots or protests was a common means of political involvement. Other forms of political involvement include contacting public officials; contributing to campaigns; and joining interest groups that engage in lobbying, public relations, and litigation. Voting remains the primary means of political participation for most Americans. Today, all native-born or naturalized citizens 18 years or older, with the exception
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2010 for the course GOV 4w004 taught by Professor Lolly during the Fall '10 term at Lone Star College System.

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govt 2301 ch 8 review - & Political Participation...

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