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Unformatted text preview: Political Participation Political Government 310L Points of Interest Points What What What is political participation? are the Constitutional Amendments that are important for understanding voting rights? are is turnout and why should we be concerned about it? concerned political participation just confined to voting? What What Is What What motivates someone to become politically active? active? What is political participation? What Verba, Verba, Voice Scholzman, and Brady
and Equality Activity Activity that has the intent or effect of influencing government action-either directly by affecting the making or implementation of public policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of people who make those policies selection The focus on voting The Terms describing the right to vote. Suffrage Franchise 15th Amendment (1870) Granted voting rights for African American men 19th Amendment Granted voting rights for women in 1920 France 1945 Switzerland 1990 23rd Amendment Gave Washington D.C. residents the right to vote for presidential electors. 24th Amendment Outlawed Poll Taxes 26th Amendment (1971) Set voting age at 18 Official Turnout Official Defined Defined by the Census Bureau as the number of people voting for president divided by the size of the voting-age population. the Real decline is caused by lessening popular Real interest and decreasing party mobilization interest Some scholars argue historical voter turnout Some figures where skewed by fraud figures Most scholars see some real decline due to Most several causes, including the difficulty of registration registration Voter Participation in Presidential Elections Elections Nonvoting Nonvoting Alleged Alleged problem: low turnout of voters in the U.S. compared to Europe the Data is misleading: it tends to compare Data turnout of the voting-age population; turnout of registered voters reveals the problem is not so severe problem The real problem is low voter registration The rates rates Turnout in the United States Turnout Has Declined Since 1960 VAP v. VEP The Civil Rights Revolution Opened Southern Politics to African-Americans Southern 1965 Voting Rights Act 1965 Many scholars in the 1940’s and 1950’s argued that the Many reason that Blacks in the South did not vote was because they were apathetic. because The reason that they did not vote was because of voting laws The that discriminated against them that
Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests, White Primaries Intimidation Grandfather Clause Specially constructed districts which limited minority political Specially empowerment empowerment
Vote Dilution Texas redistricting battle The Voting Rights Act worked to eliminate these barriers The impact of the Act has grown to include not only racial The minorities, but language minorities as well. Group Differences in Turnout, 1996 Group Group Differences in Other Forms of Participation of Americans Are More Likely Than Citizens in Other Democracies to Participate in Ways More Demanding Than Voting More Americans Are Less Likely to Participate in More Demanding Ways Than Voting More Reasons for political participation Reasons Verba, Scholzman, and Brady Motivation Capacity Networks of Recruitment Motivation Motivation Individual The The motivations for voting tangible and intangible benefits and cost of exercising one’s right to vote of Psychological Intangible Intangible benefit of voting rewards of voting, such as satisfaction with doing one’s duty and feelings of solidarity with the community. of
Puffy’s vote or I’ll shoot you campaign Other sources of motivation Other Religion Religion can serve as a source for political motivation. motivation. will make enormous sacrifices if they believe themselves to be driven by a divine force. divine Individuals Individuals Capacity Capacity
Various Various forms of participation impose their own requirements own Time to volunteer in a campaign Money to cover a check to a political cause Verbal skills to compose a convincing letter. Networks of Recruitment Networks Mobilization The The efforts of parties, groups, and activist to encourage their supporters to participate in politics. politics. are more likely to participate when
contact makes people more accountable People People asked. asked.
Personal Six Kinds of Citizens Six Inactives: rarely vote, contribute to political rarely organizations, or discuss politics; have little education, low income, young, many blacks; 22 percent percent Voting specialists: vote but do little else; not vote much education or income, older much Campaigners: vote, get involved in campaign vote, activities, more educated, interested in politics, identify with a party, take strong positions identify Six Kinds of Citizens (continued) Six Communalists: nonpartisan community nonpartisan activists with a local focus activists Parochial participants: don’t vote or don’t participate in campaigns or political organizations, but do contact politicians about specific problems about Activists: Participate in all forms of Participate politics; highly educated, high income, middle age; 11 percent middle What Participation Rates Mean What Americans vote less, but participate more Americans elect more officials and have Americans more elections more U.S. turnout rates are heavily skewed to U.S. higher status persons higher Summary Summary Political Political participation is very important for understanding American democracy. It allows the people to have a direct or indirect say in what government does. what we spend a great deal of time focusing on voting, political participation is multifaceted. voting, is important to understand that not everyone can participate at the same level. However there are social institutions, which can help overcome the costs associated with political participation. participation. While While It It ...
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- Spring '07