Democracy and Voting

Comes from the greek (Demos = People and Kratos = Rule, Tule by the People). First form in Athens – (90% couldn't vote, just free white men and the rich). Two principles of democracy:

Equal Access (To run, vote, take part). Equal Freedom and civil liberties For democracy to be effective, it must include checks and balances. The power must not be concentrated (to class, spectrum, etc. ), and must have the power separated – devolved, "power corrupts absolutely" Party Identification Theory: This is where parent's party preference and ideology is passed down on to children.

These also tend to be reinforced by social experiences (but mostly parent's leanings. As a result of socialisation (parents, education influencing politics). Psychological attachment to party. Gone from 45% to 21% to 13% (2001). People often know who they'll vote for between 18 – 24 – link party with event. PARTISAN ALIGNMENT (long term political party alignment) The Sociological Theory: People's social characteristics (mostly social class).

Pulzer "Class is the basis of British politics; all else embellishment and detail". (Middle class: Tory, Working: Labour). CLASS ALIGNMENT (link between class and political party). Gender, race, religion also involved in this theory. Decreasing. The Rational Choice Theory: Based on Machiavellian view point of self-interest. Judgement based on past performance. Voters are consumers and they choose what benefits them most. Sanders (1996) said that economy influenced which one the consumer would buy.

This meant that the parties put a lot of emphasis on image and view of past performance (of themselves and opposition) and change their policies so the electorate would like them. It is instrumental (based on one-off, not alignment). Very susceptible to press bias. Dominant Ideology: Individual choices are made by media, (Dunleavey and Husbands). Society is dominated by dominant people (Marxist in nature), the media deciceds what is debated so things are overlooked and bias can be given to one side (very bad in age of no alignment).