HGov: Influence of Voters

Voting is the most widespread form of active political participation. prospective voting is one way in which the people can exert influence on policy through their participation. It is the most demanding approach to voting. Voters must develop their own policy preferences and then educate themselves about the candidates’ positions. Most voters are not well enough informed about the issues to respond in this way. Retrospective voting demands less from voters. They need only decide whether the government has been performing well in terms of the goals and values they hold. Evidence suggests that the electorate is in fact reasonably sensitive to past governmental performance particularly in relation to economic prosperity.

Overall, Americans are only moderately involved in politics. While they are concerned with political affairs, they are mostly immersed in their private pursuits, a reflection in part of American culture’s emphasis on individualism. The lower level of participation among low-income citizens has particular significance in that it works to reduce their influence on public policy and leadership.

Chapter 6 Quiz III – closes Fri 10/7
7.1 Voter Participation (read pp.213-227)
7.2 Conventional Forms of Participation Other Than Voting (read pp.227-237)



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