Dr. Eileen Lynch
24. Campaigns and Elections
Explain and assess the role of elections in
Elections are crucial.
The textbook tells us that the participation of the citizens is what makes government legitimate, and morally right and worthy of support. If large numbers of citizens neglect or refuse to vote, it raises questions about the most basic underpinnings of political authority. Voting is participation in an election and it decreases alienation and opposition by making people aware that they are in fact part of the system. The effect people who vote have on public policy when it chooses one set of candidates who endorse one set of policies over another is that, although one single vote might not make a difference, a coalition of similar-minded voters can in effect choose who represents them in the decision-making process of government.
That said, and even though it has been pretty easy in
The textbook offers some possible explanations for this lackadaisical approach to civic responsibility in
Maybe, Texans don’t vote because they are not trained to participate.
Or maybe the “no-party” system prevalent in
Or because Texas is a poor state (or more than likely a state with very, very uneven distribution of wealth) and the poor people stay at home and don’t vote because they haven’t been educated about it and have no competitive parties trying to get them out to vote.
Regardless of the many possibilities, the fact remains that voter turnout has been slightly rising in the past few years, and there is the hope that with the Republican Party gaining more and more of a foothold in this state, it will foster voter education and will have a positive effect on the electorate participation.
Because, otherwise, with such a large sector of financially-challenged minorities on the rise in population, the distribution of wealth problem seems one of the very last things that will be solved in Texas in order to foment better voter turnout in local, state and national elections.