Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Iain Murray (Blogger in Chief at The edge of England's sword) takes up the question of why the number of people turning out to vote in Britain has declined so precipitously over the last decade or so. I agree, partly, that as govt has withdrawn from the commanding heights of the economy so too do people have less of a reason to worry about who is in control but I suspect that the major reason may be that for most of the 1960s and 1970s, British politics was very finely balanced between Labour and Tory and this, combined with the very different policies the parties were offering at the time, created a huge incentive for voters to turn out for elections. I also suspect that in this post-modern era, the idea of identifying with parties or even with politicians no longer holds much water. People who feel strongly about issues are far more likely to take to the streets, join movements (or set up blogs). It's not that people no longer have an incentive to vote (because govt no longer pays their wages), but rather that most people have realised the limitations of traditional party politics or, at least, they think they have.

I'm gonna think about this a bit more, it's an interesting question..


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