What are some of the ways in which Americans have been mobilized into political participation? What are some of the groups that have been mobilizing? What are some of the conditions under which citizens are more likely to participate in political life? What impact do you think the 2016 presidential election will have on the political participation in the foreseeable future? Why? Please provide examples to support your positions
Many factors affect political participation, some of them are socioeconomic status, levels of civic engagement, formal obstacles, and efforts by political institutions. However, the most influential factors that affect political participation are interest groups, social movements, candidates, and political parties. It is known that people tend to participate more when someone they know asks them to be involved.
Before the competitiveness of year 2000, parties used to emphasize fund-raising for their campaigns, but after that however, both political parties were motivated to build strong organizations to get voters out of their house on election day.
There are several ways to participate. The regular way which was used for ages, that involves volunteering for a campaign, protesting it, and voting for candidates. And the new way of participation which is online. Volunteering for a campaign or candidate means spreading the word out to people they know and do not know about that candidate if they believe in their idea and mission, and try to support them to succeed. Voting is going out on election day and expressing your opinion discretely about the candidate that you want to see in office. Protesting is expressing opinion usually not in a peaceful manner about disliking a certain candidate or view. And the online way is to learn more about candidates and what their plan is, check their history and get more information. With the use of internet, signing petitions became much easier and faster, as well as organizing events and gatherings to promote an idea or to make a protest. Online news now spread much faster than any other, and it is much easier to make or break a campaign by the use of internet advertising.
When a person is very convinced in a candidate’s mission, they are more likely to participate. Or when a person is neutral towards one side but very negative about the other, it is also a good reason. A study shows that the least well-off Americans are the least likely to vote, while the wealthiest Americans are the most likely to vote.
New technology and internet use have increased lately and that was believed to promote political participation, but it was proven that so far the change is not very significant. After the election of 2008 and the first African American president, the African American community participation increased heavily. And lately Latino political organizations attempted to mobilize members of their community, and if that turned out successfully, it would have a huge political influence.
The last election had a big effect on Americans, people who voted or participated did not have a neutral opinion for the most part, it was either or. Most participants either liked one of the candidates or disliked them. On the other hand, the reason for the big lack of participation in general that showed a big amount of people stayed home on election day, was because people did not care about either of the candidates, or maybe felt that both of them are not reliable. They both had completely different issues that made them unreliable from totally different aspects.
In my opinion, the election of 2016 will not have a pleasant impact on participation in the future, the first reason is that all the protests that happened after it did not mean anything and did not change anything. The second reason is that from now on, the idea of presidency will be that everybody can become a president, it does not have to be a politician or a senator for example. And the third reason would be the rumors the election was rigged, so the faith in democracy will be less and people will think of voting as an unnecessary thing. One of the candidates was a woman, and the other is a businessman who was never in any political position before, so both cases happen for the first time. This means we do not know what to expect for the next term, but hopefully both candidates will have the right qualifications and the participation will be higher.