This book provides a distinctive new introduction to the study of comparative politics at undergraduate level. Rich in case study material and global in coverage, Comparative Politics sets out the basic theoretical and methodological foundations for studying different political systems as well as the key structures and actors of which they are comprised.
Chapter 9: Voters, Parties and Participation
Voters, Parties and Participation
In this chapter we will consider the main actors who take part in the electoral process, the voters and parties, and what this might tell us about political participation. We will start by focusing on what is the epitomising concept for democracy – representation – and go on to consider how elections are seen as a barometer for political participation, which is itself seen as a measure of whether or not representative democracy is functioning properly. Since parties and voters are so closely related to the practice of elections, we also examine why people vote or do not vote, and if they do, why they vote for certain parties. In the course of all this we discuss ...