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Political Participation

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Political Participation

Milbrath, Lester W, and Madan L. Goel. Political Participation: How and Why Do People Get Involved in Politics. Washington, D.C: University Press of America, 1982. Print. The book depicts the choice of political participation lies solely on an individual or society. Citizens can participate or take part in politics in different ways like voting for their delegates; these delegates are the ones who make rules that determine for example tax payment and the general running of matters in government. Citizens can also work or volunteer in establishments that liaise with government officials. Participation in public deliberations also helps the citizens to make their interests and desires known to the government. There are factors that lead to political participation. These include; whether or not citizens are satisfied with the work their representatives are doing in government. If they are working well then they will not need to be watched closely, but if the work they are doing is not satisfactory, the citizens will need to supervise them keenly. This means active political participation. The right of the citizens is also another factor that leads to political participation. Citizens need to understand their rights to vote and participate in government affairs; this ensures transparency and openness between the government and its public.

Paletz, David L, Diana Owen, Timothy E. Cook. American Government and Politics in the Information Age. Duke University: Flat World Knowledge, 2011. Print. The authors portray social media as an aspect that plays a major role in the way politics is conducted in today’s world by either discouraging or encouraging the citizens to participate. Old media allowed politicians to get away with so many things. This was because media access was only feasible to few people so the majority of the voters and citizens did not know what was happening in government. This blinded the citizens. New media, however, allows for the close monitoring of representatives by citizens and active participation in politics by citizens. Citizens rely on the media for information about politics; it alerts them about political happenings. Chart rooms on the internet, radio and television shows allow for political dialogues involving the citizens and the government. Local meetings are televised to push the public to ask questions openly to politicians for example during election campaigns where presidential aspirants debate on national television. This attracts the biggest audience and makes it possible for them to ask questions. Social network sites, websites, and political blogs are used as links between the government and the public in terms of giving and passing of information.

Teixeira, Ruy A. The Disappearing American Voter. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution, 1992. Print. The writer points out that voter turnout are lower in the Unites States than other democracies around the world because many Americans are used to not voting. This applies mostly to the youth in America who have been brought up disregarding the voting exercise because it is not important. This notion diminishes the voter turnout year in year out. Younger Americans do not vote because they have not completed high school education. It is also noted that they move around regularly which does not meet their residency conditions in relation to voter registration.

Utter Glenn H. Youth and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2011. Print. The book denotes how young people do not vote. Younger Americans are not economically wealthy in that they do not own their own homes. In America, owning a home grants an individual a better position in society for civic participation. Despite America having low voter turnouts especially among young people, recent reports indicate a turnaround in the percentage of young voters. Shea et al. account that “ although the turnout among those 18 to 24 years old was only a little more than 32 percent in the 2000 election, the voter turnout rate for this age group increased to nearly 42 percent in 2004, and reached 52 percent in 2008.” (Qtd.in Utter 15).

Leighley, Jan E. The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print. The author demonstrates that the U.S. witnessed a stable increase in voter turnout in 1840, getting its climax in subsequent years after the civil war. Turnout decreased from the 1890s until the 1930s, then augmented again until 1960 before starting its recent extensive decline. Declining voter turnouts first took place in early 1960s, which was prior to the major chaos of the late 1960s and 70s. Nevertheless, the voting situation in the U.S is improving. In 2004, America witnessed the largest young adult voter turnout since any voting process where 18 year olds were entitled to vote. Without a doubt, the candidature of Barack Obama provoked the attention of many people, particularly younger voters to vote. The 2008 presidential nomination process saw an improvement in the involvement of young people. Research carried out approximates that Barack Obama obtained 66 percent of the votes of those between the ages of 18 to 24. This figure was from the 52 percent of those aged 18 to 24 who voted. Political analysts have hoped that this trend will continue to improve especially among the younger voters.

Garcia, John A. Latino Politics in America: Community, Culture, and Interests. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Print. The book talks about the Hispanic involvement in American politics. The election period in 2008 saw progress among the Hispanics. The rate of their growth is thrice the rate of Anglos and four times that of African Americans. Latinos are getting attention from political parties and support groups to boost the electoral pedestal. In addition, community-based registration campaigns are showing efficiency among the mainly Spanish-speaking people. This rise in the Hispanic voting bloc is indisputably changing the face of politics in America. There will be a rise in the elected officials in both local and national levels. More politicians are looking for the support of the Hispanics since they are considered a majority in American politics. A more active voting public among Latinos was pointed out in the amendments in voter registration and increased naturalization among Latinos born outside America. More and more Hispanics are getting involved in American politics because it gives them a feeling of Americanism. This rising Latino voting base together with better recruitment efforts will lead to their enhanced political significance. The Hispanic voting bloc is not a problem in American politics; instead, it heightens awareness among the voting population and creates healthy competition in politics. Verdin stated that “In California alone, Latinos now occupy 762 elective offices, 20 percent of assembly and senate positions, and six positions on the state’s congressional delegation” (qtd.in Garcia 101). This means that they are getting more and more involved in politics, as was the case in previous years. The presence of Latinos in elective offices also shows that Latinos are practicing their right to vote. This is gradually improving. Major political parties and presidential aspirants tried to woo Latinos in the year 2000 after it was proclaimed the year of the Latino voter. This was for the reason that Latinos had become 8 percent of the national voting public, which was up 60 percent from 1996. In 2008, most Hispanics voted for President Obama, but this number is ambivalent on the general presidential poll today. A majority of Hispanic voters classify themselves as democrats. Nonetheless, a good number of Hispanics’ major concern is the economy and finding good jobs. Conservatives need to relate with Hispanic voters to increase their support among them. The fact that the Hispanic voting bloc is increasing in voting strength in America can only mean that citizens are learning about their rights to vote and embracing them. The progress that is being made is a good sign when it comes to the future of American politics, which has been mainly Anglo-dominant. This change makes it possible for Hispanics to achieve the American dream. It also indicates their continued participation in American politics as citizens of America.

Work cited

Garcia, John A. Latino Politics in America: Community, Culture, and Interests. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Print

Leighley, Jan E. The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

Utter, Glenn H. Youth and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2011. Print.

Teixeira, Ruy A. The Disappearing American Voter. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution, 1992. Print.

Paletz, David L, Diana Owen, Timothy E. Cook. American Government and Politics in the Information Age. Duke University: Flat World Knowledge, 2011. Print.

Milbrath, Lester W, and Madan L. Goel. Political Participation: How and Why Do People Get InvolvEd in Politics. Washington, D.C: University Press of America, 1982. Print.

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