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Low participation in politics in general indicates that people do not see the political system as a viable avenue for collective action.

I completely disagree. Low participation can as well be a sign, that people are so happy with the system, that they don't want to engage to change it. Or that there are more interesting things than politics, or that they want to participate only in focused actions on specific issues, instead of supporting a full package of a party, which doesn't necessarily mean they are against the political system.

One indicator for other reasons than disagreement with the political system is, that most organisations, unions, churches, and hobby clubs, are losing members, as well less and less people marry. The general willingness to bind oneself to whatever is shrinking. At the same time the love parade, or Kirchentage tend to be bigger than ever. The willingness to engage, for specific issues with limited follow up responsibility, is not at all shrinking.
Another indicator is the left party, which shows, that people who really want a fundamentally different society are political active, while e.g. comments in online-newspapers often indicate favour of not too big changes, even when they are written relativly ranting.

The modern selfunderstanding of young politicians is often a service deliverer mentality, with the people kind of costumers, not anymore the defense of a integrated political ideology. Part of it I would say, is due to the more diverse lives and live styles of people and opinions. There is more brokerage necessary between opposing views to come to a political compromise.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2008 at 04:21:30 PM EST
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