Why do people ignore elections?
Although electoral law is considered to be the most important democratic value, in reality, according to statistics, in many countries a fairly large share of the population does not participate in elections, and even less participate in electoral activities.
T. Day and H. Zigler note: “Less than 1% of the adult population of America have ever put forward their candidacies for elected positions, only about 5% have ever been active in party work or in election campaigns, and only 10% have made financial contributions “. And this is in a country whose citizens are considered the most politically active.
In other countries, the situation is even worse. For example, in Russia, as is known, regional and local elections are often broken, although only 25% of voters are needed to ensure that elections are recognized as valid.
What explains this attitude to the elections, the unwillingness to participate in them?
Of course, each country has its own reasons, as there are general characteristics. Some of them are objective, that is, justified, citizens are difficult to blame for passivity, indifference, and some – subjective, ie, the citizens themselves do not facilitate the transformation of elections into a meaningful political institution. Let’s try to formulate the most important reasons for avoiding participation in elections.
Lack of education
Firstly, many citizens, especially young or uneducated, may not understand the meaning of the elections, not realize that participation in elections is not only their right, but also a duty, a duty. In modern society, all citizens are automatically granted voting rights after reaching a certain age, regardless of whether they are in need of political participation or not.
Unfortunately, there will always be a lot of young people who have not yet grown to realize their responsibility. To minimize the proportion of these young people can only be due to the purposeful and thoughtful political education of the state and other political institutions. Incidentally, in many countries (Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.), voting is considered mandatory, i.e. for evasion from participation in elections, citizens can be subjected to various kinds of punishment: public censure, monetary fines, temporary deprivation of voting rights, etc.
And in other countries (the United States, Spain, etc.), citizens are not automatically recorded in voter lists; for this they must contact the appropriate authorities themselves.
Lack of belief
Secondly, many citizens do not believe in the ability to influence power through elections. This is indirectly confirmed by the fact that, as a rule, a significant part of the social lower classes does not participate in elections. Unfortunately, this reason cannot be called baseless.
In any state, the ruling circles tend to hold out longer in power and try to use the elections for their own purposes, but in semi-democratic countries the rulers do not disdain any means, which really makes the elections meaningless. (Although even in such cases no rulers can block mass voting of the people against them). This reason can be eradicated only by either a revolution or by awareness by the ruling circles of the extreme danger of such an attitude toward elections.
Lack of good candidates
Thirdly, voters may not see among the candidates a person who impressed them, aroused their confidence. This situation can arise for various reasons. For example, citizens can idealize politically, romantically imagine politicians, which, of course, among the contenders will not be. Such a situation can be overcome only by raising the political culture of society. In addition, due to biased media propaganda, citizens may not be sufficiently informed, do not know about the availability of worthy candidates.
Finally, the type of political system can be such that decent people may simply not want to run. These reasons can be overcome only through the development, democratization of the political system.
Fear of taking responsibility
Fourth, the reluctance to participate in elections can be caused by the fear of taking responsibility for the decision. After all, to vote for someone means to a certain degree vouch for him. And in order to minimize the risk, it is necessary to get closer and more fully familiar with the candidates’ programs. It is much easier not to trouble yourself with thinking about who is worthier, and then suffering with remorse than not voting at all.
Misunderstanding of elections as a process
Fifthly, a misunderstanding of the place of the institution of elections in the political process. Ironically, most people are very aware of what are video slots free spins and other online gaming things but some just simply don’t get how elections work. This is especially true of democratizing countries. In such countries, citizens initially put undue high hopes on elections, hoping that after the election their lives will quickly and radically change. In such periods they are very active in the elections, of course, cardinal changes do not take place, as a result disappointed people turn away from the elections.
Lack of effectiveness in the system
Sixth, ineffectiveness of the political system as a whole. Elections are not an end in themselves, but a means of influencing the institutions of power. If participation in the elections does not lead to the necessary changes in the effectiveness of the institution of power, people will not participate in them. In this case, the situation cannot be rectified without changing the political system. It should be noted that even in developed countries, the level of effectiveness of the functioning of the political system ceases to satisfy people over time and, therefore, there is a need to modernize it.