The Pros And Cons Of Voting

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It is often said that parties are losing touch with voters and do not provide effective representation. What evidence is there for and against this contention? Does it matter? This question is posed at a very interesting time in European politics. We have seen and felt the effects of both economic prosperity and vast recession and we can now analyse the political implications that this brought about since the economic crisis broke out. The results have changed the traditional political landscapes in many countries, but have also changed the way parties do business, to varying degrees. Recent trends and election results would suggest that the parties that were once seen as natural parties of government (a UK example: Labour and Conservatives)…show more content…
Expressive voting is the process of expressing their wishes through means of voting. It is seen as “micro-level voting” and gives great scope for representative parties to flourish at elections. But it is my belief that expressive voting became a less-practiced action since the rise of catch-all and cartel parties, right up until the worldwide recession in recent times. Voters, instead took part in instrumental voting – “macro” voting in the national interest. This evaluated parties’ national and international policies, rather than their representation of society. Instrumental, macro voting was very common during periods of economic boom, as it allowed governments to expand their economies and drive internal economic growth. As we know, from experience, citizens across many parts of Europe, mainly Ireland, the UK, Italy, Greece, etc. benefitted greatly from a boom, and so, they had no justifiable reason to remove the governing party/parties from power. This was evident in Ireland, the UK and France, where the same party stayed in government between 1995-98 and 2010-2012, a period dominated by economic boom, then followed by recession. It coincided with a period of vast globalisation, where the need for government mounted to little more than to sit on the crest of a wave. Markets and domestic economy became more aligned with American, capitalist models and the term “laissez-faire” almost became too conservative to describe attitudes to government

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