POWER

Politics and the Political

Politics and the Political


What influences political success?

Of course people get involved in the political process because they want to change the way things are organised. How successful an individual or group is will depend on a number of factors.

  • The resources at their disposal. Richer individuals and well funded organizations will have more clout behind them.
  • How many people know about and support their cause. Public opinion needs to be in their favour.
  • How close the organization is to the government. Groups which have close ties to the government, and help to influence government policy, are known as insider groups. The National Trust is an example. Those without direct links are outsider groups.
  • The size of the organization’s membership.

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What is citizenship?

A citizen may be regarded as someone who has

  • Full legal status as a member of a particular country. A citizen has all the legal rights that citizenship involves, as well as the responsibilities i.e. conforming to the law and paying taxes.
  • An active role in the political life of a country. This may include voting, campaigning for a political party or playing a positive role in the local community.

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Participation in the political process

There are a number of ways in which people are able to participate in the political process, or in the public life of a country. These include:

      • Taking part in protest activities. This may involve going on protest marches or signing petitions.
      • Getting involved in local community projects.
      • Joining organisations with a political motivation, for example pressure groups or trade unions.
      • Standing for election (either as a mayor or MP)
      • Voting in local and general elections.
      • Joining a political party.

Not everyone is able to contribute to the political process. There are a number of reasons why this might be so.

      • Work or other commitments take up their time.
      • They can’t afford to.
      • They don’t have access to the information required to get involved.
      • They are simply not interested.