Voting outcomes are supposed to represent the interests of the public. Issues that the public would like to be addressed and taken care of or solved depending on the issue at hand. These interests stem from issues such as what will the outcome of an individual casting their vote make? The individuals within a state who had registered to vote, will the actually vote? Will the votes of those who voted represent the interests of those who did not vote? Ultimately it is the individual how would like to experience the effect of their vote and the change it will supposedly make, if at all.
Elections over the years do not seem to draw great voter numbers. There has been a steady decline in the number of individuals who actually, cast their vote. The Independent Electoral Commission in South Africa noted a decline in voters . In the 2009 elections 65.9 percent of the registered voters cast their votes. In the recent 2014 election that number dropped to 62.1 percent. Another state that has seen a steady decline in voter numbers is Britain. Where there has been a decline in voter numbers. The interest or the reason to go vote has been watered down. The action of voting is not seen as meaningful or as being able to change the issues facing the voters. Or possibly it’s suggested that an individual’s educational levels have an influence on the decisions made. Voting is seen as being shaped by education and knowledge about the voting system of a country. After an individual weighs his possibilities it could be that they perceive that there is no value in them voting. That one vote doesn’t really bear effect or change anything.
In order for the needs of the people to represented, there is a relationship that is formed. A relationship between the state and its people. In the case of voters it’s the relationship between the voter and the person who will represent their needs and interests. What needs will representative take forward? The people decide what role he will play when their needs are represented. Questions such as how power do this individual have? Will he/she make decisions on behalf of the group or does he listen to the decisions of the group. How much power does this individual actually have and what are the limits to that power. How does that power translate in representing the needs of group being represented? The accountability and how the representative is kept in check for their actions. A delicate game of making sure the representative keeps to his end of the bargain and so the individuals. How far the scope of their work should go and extend. The representative needs to be trusted and be seen as a person who can deliver on the promises made and the needs of those who have entrusted him to act in good faith.
Societies and fractions within societies influence the outcomes of people’s needs. Social classes have different views on how issues within society should be treated. All social classes have preconceived ideas on how issues that affect them should be handled. For example the issue of taxation. Taxation should higher on business rather than on the individual. The middle and the classes that are below the middle class could agree and find common grounds to rally around. The elite and rich would likely not agree. After all the rich and elite are the owners and drivers of business. Those who are under their employment would argue that being taxed more does not help. As it is that they do not get enough. The system favours the already wealthy. Surely their taxation would not mean much of a dent to their pockets. The ideologies also differ. Decisions are often made from two different viewpoints and standings in the different classes.
Our societies have a number of factors that influence individuals with regards to electioneering. Religion, race , gender , the media ,ethnicity, educational levels and so forth. Taking a look at a few of the influencing factors. Religion is one of those factors. A force of its own. People want a leader they can identify with. Often religion is able to comfort with a person who has the same beliefs, values, morals and principles. Religious leaders have taken advantage of this . Using their religious platform to either push certain political agendas or to join politics . Using their seemingly moral compass to influence There’s a comfort in having a representative one can identify with.
A sense of familiarity is created. With education its seems thought that there is a comfort in having a person in leadership who has some sort of approvable qualification deemed fit for office or leadership. This for the rising middle class in South Africa has been key. Many middle class citizens believe they have worked hard for their education and the current regime is seen to undermine the importance and views of the black middle class. Known to be trouble makers and no falling in line with the programme. People have many information sources available to them. Whether it is through the media or from research this can change how a decision is made. Individuals can paint their own pictures of the state These challenges and places pressures on political parties. People want to know why they should vote for a particular party .who is in the party, what is the benefit of voting for that person and most importantly will their needs be represented and shared accordingly.
Social and political interests arise. Probably the factors that have hit home the hardest affect millions. For instance the high unemployment rate that South Africa experiences. For many their vote has not alleviated the problem. Thousands still remain unemployed and living below the bread line. Have no basic services rendered, running water, toilets, electricity, and functional hospitals to name but a few. Possibly the core or measurement to people’s satisfaction when it comes to having their needs meet.
Voters needs are complex and evolving constantly. . There is no doubt that not all needs can be meet . But at least the fundamental needs of a person should be meet and satisfied. . The rights that are linked to life .However voters do need to drive the agenda and find means to be heard. If voting is not a process they believe in , then pursue other avenues that will increase public participation within the government space . Look at other forms of representation and what form of representation could work for them and ensure that their needs are actually translated into the leaders honestly and as factually as possible representing the voter’s needs.
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