Is citizen Engagement necessary for a democracy to function?
Engagement in democratic government enables individuals to have the power to control government actions and also influence policy development. Civic engagement brings people from all social classes together, stimulates the change of policies that affect their daily lives, and controls government authorities since they know they are held accountable (Tandon et al., 2016). Some of the notable achievements of civic engagement in a democracy include abolishing the slave trade, discrimination based on ethnicity, and access to education. Democratic engagement helps to improve the overall wellbeing and living standards by passing laws and policies that govern the way people should manage their property and activities such as barn of late-night noise and dog management in public.
Are all Americans equally able to become engaged in government?
Although all Americans have equal rights to participate in government functionalities, not all will be engaged. A survey conducted in 2020 indicated that the majority of people are involved in government activities that required less interaction with people, such as funding campaigns and signing petitions (Loader et al., 2016). However, most of the youths between the ages of 18-29 were less involved in partisanship political activities that required an individual to be a supporter of a specific political party (Loader et al., 2016). There are a number of factors that influenced people’s involvement in government.
What factors make it more possible for some people to become engaged than others?
Some of the factors that influence the disparity in people’s participation in democratic government include partisanship, while the older individuals are concerned with the governing parties more than the younger generation. Education also may be a reason why students from foreign states and countries do not participate in activities such as voting and signing petitions. Further, people have different personal ideologies and preferences, thus, it creates the disparity in the involvement of various groups (Tandon et al., 2016). The economic status is also a factor of involvement as wealthier people are more likely to participate in government functions.
What could be done to change this?
To enhance people’s involvement in the democratic function, the government needs to create awareness and enlighten the population on the benefits of taking part in government function. Policies which motivate people to participate in the function of their states and country governments, even when they are in foreign states or countries, need to be developed.
Loader, B. D., Vromen, A., & Xenos, M. A. (2016). Performing for the young networked citizen? Celebrity politics, social networking and the political engagement of young people. Media, Culture & Society, 38(3), 400−419. Web.
Tandon, R., Singh, W., Clover, D. E., & Hall, B. L. (2016). Knowledge democracy and excellence in engagement. IDC Bulletin, 47(6). Web.