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Issues in Political Participation

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Issues in Political Participation

In a democratic society, people must participate in the decision-making process of the government for the full potential of democracy to be realized. Citizens participate in the decision-making process through political participation and electoral participation. For most of the citizens, however, political participation does not go beyond voting. And for the current statistics and observations, even participation in elections through voting is declining. Although there are various ways through which citizens participate in politics, voting is the most common form of political engagement in the U.S. other various methods include joining political parties, joining organizations and different groups, joining campaigns, and standing for elections. Every individual has the right to participate in polls. However, various factors affect the decision and abilities of individuals to participate in elections. The purpose of this paper is to look at the issues of capitalism, Electoral College vote, and race as they pertain to political participation.

Research has shown different levels of political participation among people of different races. In particular lower levels in political participation have been observed among the Blacks and Latinos compared to whites. The relationship between race and voter participation is always a complex one. There are lots of factors that lead to low levels of voter participation by the minority races in the U.S. Most candidates in the elections are usually white candidates, which affects the number of voter turnouts and political participation. Racial minorities are more likely to participate in politics when there are opportunities for representation. The minority groups usually form organizations and join the campaigns of their own candidate. The support for a candidate of their own race is usually more about representation as they fell very underrepresented when there are no candidates of their race.

Most of the black citizens believe that a white constituent would not represent black constituencies, as well as a black representative, would do it. Therefore, when there are no black candidates in an election, black voters will be less likely to participate as they do not believe that any of the candidates would be able to represent them. However, when one of the candidates is black, the black voter’s turnout would be high as the black voters will want to vote in a black representative as they will feel better represented. Black voters have a sense of linked fate when a black candidate runs for office, which leads them to see a black candidate’s success as their own success.  Race also plays a big role in how black candidates engage in political participation. Very few black candidates run for office as Republicans, and they do this for a good reason. This is because black voters are more likely to vote when there is a black democratic president on the ballot. However, black voters are less likely to vote when the black candidate is a republican.

Electro College is a very interesting area of the U.S elections. The U.S presidency is decided by elector voters and not the general voters. In most cases, therefore, the candidate who wins the popular vote wins the election while the one who wins most of the electors nationally wins the presidency. The Electoral College system is odd and complex, and a lot of people argue that it should be replaced with a more straightforward system. Many Americans do not have the knowledge of how the Electoral College system and electoral voters work. The majority of American citizens would want the Electoral Voters removed, and winners be decided by the popular vote. Most Americans conform that they would vote a law that favored the removal of the electoral voters from the elections. Another criticism of the Electoral College system is that it distorts presidential campaigns where more weight is given to certain small states which prevent an urban-centric election.

Additionally, there have been cases where electoral voters of a given electoral college decide to vote against the majority vote hence undermining the relevance of the voters in the electoral process. The Electoral College system has great impacts on an individual’s participation in elections. More people are more likely to vote without the Electoral Colleges. Electoral Colleges have, in recent years, managed to reduce the perceived benefits of voting for presidential candidates to voters. This is because the power of votes is reduced and restricted to state jurisdictions instead of all votes holding equal power. There is very little, or no, benefits of additional voting if the same results will be achieved with fewer votes being cast. With the use of the Electoral College system, voters have no reason to believe that every vote counts hence resulting to lower voter turnout and general participation in the election process. The Electoral College system also discourages third-party candidacy because the candidates have little chance of pooling a majority of the state’s votes.

Socialism is a scary word in U.S politics, and few of the candidates who proclaim themselves to be Democratic Socialists face a lot of opposition from different groups of voters. Anti-socialism advocates argue that America should never advocate for Socialism as the American dream is not about Socialism. However, Democratic Socialists believe that capitalism has always been the cost of human suffering. This is because it results in the exploitation and unequal opportunity by the private business due to their control of the economy. While most Republicans are more likely to vote against Socialism, a majority of Democrats are more likely to vote a socialist government. Socialism aims to eradicate the exploitative relationships between workers and employers. However, the structure of the American political and election process has adverse impacts on the Democratic Socialists in various ways.

First, the election process is a winner takes all process which does not allow for proportional representation. The political system is also a two-party monopoly where third party efforts are doomed as most Americans will not vote for a third party so as to avoid a wasted vote. While some people think that a socialist government would be impractical because most people would lose their incentive to work, there are those who feel more positive about Socialism than about capitalism. While this revolution may not happen soon, it is an indication that changes in the political system may occur through step by step revolutions that could change the attitudes of Americans towards capitalism. Fighting for Socialism will require contesting the election. This is because having many socialist representatives will make the ideas of Socialism more popular while providing an experience for socialist governance. Failure to engage in electoral politics only condemns socialists to marginality.


There are many issues surrounding and influencing the American political system. Electoral College systems, race, and Socialism all have different roles to play in the political structure.  Race has a great impact on an individual’s participation in the political process as most people will only participate in elections if they have an opportunity for representation. This is especially so in the minority races which have recorded low levels of participation in the election process. The Electoral College, on the other hand, has become an area of debate with many people arguing that they should be done away with in favor of using the popular vote system to determine the presidency. This way, every vote will matter, and voters will be compelled to vote more. This will also encourage third party participation, which is very difficult under the Electoral College system. This will also encourage Socialists to contest elections due to the eradication of two-party monopolies.














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