Political apathy can bring a tyrant to power! Why is political apathy so important in the modern world and especially concerning democracy? Legit.ng has gathered unique facts that can help you to understand the twists of political apathy today!
Political Apathy Definition
Political apathy is the feeling of apathy or disinterest towards politics. It may consist of one or several types of apathy, like:
- Informational apathy;
- Vote apathy;
- Interest apathy.
It's usually determined when a person has no interest in the political situation in the country or world. Therefore, he or she does not care about elections, political parties or laws of the country. Low interest in politics for a population may lead to the stagnation of the political system in the country. It can also lead to the loss of democratic values in the country.
On a personal level, political apathy may lead to personal dissatisfaction or psychological problems. According to the North American Review, political apathy may lead to what is referred to as political ills. These political ills usually include:
- Dishonesty among politicians;
- Lack of social flexibility.
Who can suffer from political apathy?
In the article “Why The Voting Gap Matters,” Sean McElwee pointed out that the most affected by political ills are young, homeless and poor people. The most active voters can be found in the middle class section of the population. However they can also be considered as the most conservative voters. The real changes in politics may come with young voters. They tend to vote for the new powers in politics.
Non-voters are also considered to be more liberal orientated than voters. It may be connected with personal income. As it was mentioned above, middle and high-class citizens tend to vote for the same candidates, while less fortunate are open to new ideas.
Types of Political Apathy
- Register Refusal. One of the main concepts for any democratic system is an electoral body. Therefore, people should register to take part in the voting process. But some people may refuse to register just because they don't feel that it will change anything.
- Refusal to belong to political parties. A political party is one of the elements of a citizens` vote. Refusal to belong to any of the party or express sympathy/antipathy is one of the types of political apathy.
- Refusal to protest. It's another form of political apathy which includes an overall indifference to politics. In the worst cases, it may lead to getting tyrant leaders elected in the country.
- Refusal to vote. It's a type of political apathy where an individual does not express a desire to vote!
- Refusal to participate in elections. It expresses a desire of a person to not participate in social changes in the country!
Effects of Political Apathy
- Political apathy can become the reason for the bad governance in a country. It may lead to corruption, blackmail, and lawlessness in a country;
- Political apathy is the best ground for the greedy politics and leaders;
- Political apathy is the sign of misunderstanding between the citizens and governments;
- Political apathy is a denial of political education;
- Political apathy leads to corruption;
- Political apathy is the path to imbalance of power which may lead to revolutions and civil wars;
- Political apathy allows a government to be carefree in their activities.
Causes of Political Apathy
1. Belief that vote does not count
It's one of the main reasons for political apathy! A lot of people in developing countries do not vote for their leaders as they do not believe in any changes.
2. Dislike of politicians
This is not a case where a person does not like a particular politician! This is when people do not believe politicians and do not express a desire to vote.
3. Lack of Candidates
It's a situation when people do not have too many candidates to choose from. This situation can be witnessed in many post-soviet countries.
4. No Trust in Government
Do not confuse this with the dislike of politicians. No trust in government points out the distrust of the government system.
5. Negative Media Coverage
Media coverage may provide a portion of cynicism to the potential voters. Therefore, negative view of politics in media may lead to a disinterest of the voters.
6. Violent Campaign
Political parties may also damage their reputation with violent election campaign. It can provoke distress amongst voters and kill any interest in elections.
7. Military Invitation
People do not vote freely when they have witnessed bloody political activities of the government. Therefore, they are more interested in resistance than votes.
8. Chaotic Political Situation
People do not respond well to the constant chaotic atmosphere in the government. This atmosphere may come in various forms, like political oppression, killing or a lack of peaceful conditions for voting.
9. Weak Security Measures
People do not believe that their votes can be secured. Therefore, they do not participate in the voting process.
10. Bad Governance
Bad governance is the main reason for political apathy in a country. A government which fails to provide good governance will not have any chance to eliminate political apathy!
How to fight the dangers of political apathy?
The primary weapon against political apathy is to vote. The government should provide adequate political education to its citizens. At the same time, the citizens shouldn't be ignorant about the political situation in the country! They should participate in elections!
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