Active citizenship has two purposes which are to balance the extension of individual rights which was being undertaken. Secondly its was seen as a vital way of preserving and extending a 'community spirit' which it was felt, had been threatened by excessive levels of individualism and the suit of self-interest. Active citizenship is seen to be involved in such activities such as: Being aware of the current political system, thus being educated about political issues and being able to vote in elections.
Being actively involved in promoting a topic which they are passionate and actively interested in it. These may be at local or national level involving membership and the amalgamation of groups. Being able to take part or organise community action, such as working for a charity or organising schemes to raise money, as well as volunteering or simply donating money. Another example is being able to look after your neighbourhood by joining the neighbourhood watch programme, and being actively involved in your own child's schooling.
Being able to join a political party, meaning having the right to choose to vote for any political party of your choice. Why have there been low levels of participation in recent years? There have been low levels of participation because of a number of different aspects such as; * Not as many people are voting, reasons for this is that many aren't educated in the goings on in the political system and don't care for it.
Another reason is they simply can't be bothered. This attitude and lack of wanting to vote has meant that the voting percentage as lowered to 60% or so. This is an example of the low levels of participation in recent years. Another aspect is that party membership has been declining since 1980 it has lowered its numbers by over a third. * Another reason why the lack of participation is that people not being interested in politics, leading on from my first point.
The low levels mean that less and less people care about who's running the government or not, this is called partisan dealignment. How are people still participating in politics and dialect? Many people are still participating in politics and dialect by campaigning and taking strike action, against certain issues such as wanting a change in their work life, campaigning for their neighbourhood to be improved, or against a new law being passed, decisions about war, the environment, human and animal rights, the list goes on.
Even insignificant things as signing a petition for a better school canteen, or expressing your view with others either in meeting or an internet forum about lets say; the dog muck in your street still counts as participating. Another example of how people are still participating in politics and dialect is fundraising for a charity, researching a particular subject, in means of improvement or just interest, maybe just taking part in a pressure group of any size. All these examples are of how people are participating.