Allowing citizens to have their voices heard is very important. Political participation is when people get involved with the way in which their country is governed. It helps governments understand what it is that people want, and allows the people to make sure the government are fulfilling their role. Whether it be through voting, campaigning, or running in an election, there are many ways to make sure your voice is heard.
WHY IS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IMPORTANT?
Political participation is one of the best ways for ordinary people to make a substantial change to their community. If people are engaged with the politics of their country, they will better understand where the government is going wrong. Once they have an understanding of the political problems, they will be better equipped to combat them. If this political understanding then becomes political action, the government will have a clearer understanding of why people are unhappy. If everyone in a country participates in politics, it will become much harder for a government to ignore the problems of the people. Therefore, an increase in political participation, should mean more will be done to address political and social problems.
There are a number of ways to participate in politics. Almost everyone will be able to make use of at least one of these ways. Some are easier than others;
This is the easiest and most important form of political participation. Voting makes sure that the politicians that are elected, are the politicians that citizens want. Every adult has the right to vote. This is a very important right as it allows you to decide who governs your country. This could affect many areas of your life including access to health care, education, and employment. It is therefore very important that you make sure you have your say.
If there is a particular issue or problem that you see, you can campaign. This raises awareness of the issue which means that other citizens will understand it better. It also brings it to the attention of the government and holds them to account. Forms of campaigning include peaceful protesting, writing letters to officials, or joining an activist or interest group. If you continuously campaign about an issue, this increases the chances of that issue being addressed by the government.
A simple way to become involved with politics, is simply to understand who the political parties are in your country and what you think of them. This makes it easier to decide who to vote for. It also makes it easier to understand what political problems a country has, and how they could be fixed. Finding information on political parties is therefore a very good starting point. Information can be found by reading the agendas or manifestos of a party to see what their policies are. These can normally be found online. It is also helpful to read the news, from a number of different sources. This gives a wide understanding of political issues and key political figures.
Talking about politics with your family, friends, and neighbours is an easy and fun way to engage with your country’s political system. This helps you develop your own political views by listening to what other people have to say. It’s great to have an opinion on a political issue, but also very important that you’re prepared to listen to what others think. By listening to other opinions you get to see things from another point of view which might change how you feel.
Hold a public position
One of the best way to become involved with politics, is to become a politician or public official. If you hold a public or political position, you have power to find out what problems your community has. You also have power to help to have these issues addressed.