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ASGov & Pol/Unit 1/Democracy & Participation/Don’t do politics

Don’t do politics??? Talk about politics and what springs to mind: …elections, voting, politicians, parties, MPs, laws, Westminster, Lords, democracy, taxes, Prime Minister, boring, arguing, irrelevant

But have you ever thought about how politics affects you?

Clean your teeth? The European Union has regulations that ensure that there are not too many chemicals in your favourite toothpaste. Cook ed your dinner ? The EU set pesticide levels for use on food crops and standards to be met for the sale of meat and dairy products

L isten to the r adio? Parliament says radio stations need licences to determine what kinds of music they play

U sed a mobile phone? The government sells licences to networks to provide this service. They also regulate to avoid potential health risks.

Bought new tr ainer s? Government decides how much VAT to pay on clothing D r iven over a speed bump? Local councils are responsible for putting in road safety measures

All of these are affected by politics! Every day decisions are made which affect us all. So even if you think you don’t do politics …you do!!

ASGov & Pol/Unit 1/Democracy & Participation/Don’t do politics

We all participate politically in a number of ways – sometimes more than we realise …

ASGov & Pol/Unit 1/Democracy & Participation/Don’t do politics

Politics and democracy … Put simply, politics is about how the places we live are run. Democracy is the way we decide who will do the running.

Democracy in action Democracy happens on many levels. Anyone who has ever participated in a vote in school, college or the workplace to decide on something or elect someone has practiced democracy

in action. Deciding who decides Through elections everyone who votes helps to decide who wins power and who loses it. If you don’t vote other people are making those decisions for you. We live in a democracy and have certain rights that many of us take for granted, for example: the right to have political opinions that are different from the government’s; the right to join a political party; the right to run a campaign on an issue; the right to protest peacefully. There are still many places in the world where people do not have the right to decide who makes political decisions about their lives. Across the world people have died fighting for the right to vote and be part of a democracy. In the UK , less than 100 years ago, people were killed during struggles to secure the vote for women. In South Africa, not until the end of apartheid in 1994 were black people able to vote for the first time. Today, many people acrossthe world are still denied the right to vote. If we consider the many ways in which politics affects us, then we begin to understand why being a part of it can be seen as so important.

ASGov & Pol/Unit 1/Democracy & Participation/Don’t do politics

The word democracy comes from two ancient Greek words: demos, which means people, and kratia , which means rule or authority. So democracy means government by the people for the people. Countries in which the public vote to choosewho governs them are called democracies.

Governing is the making and enforcing of rules and laws Politics comes from the ancient Greek word polis meaning city

Votes for women Women’s right to vote came about after a long campaign by the Suffragettes. Suffrage means the right to vote. For over 10 years the Suffragettes tried to get Parliament to change the law so that women could vote. At the start of their campaign they held large meetings, shouted at politicians and wrote petitions to Parliament but this had little effect. So their methods changed and they became more militant (more aggressive). They smashed windows, burned post boxes, and bombed buildings. Somewomen were arrested and went to prison. In prison, Suffragettes went on hunger strike and refused to eat. Eventually they were force-fed. Emily Wilding Davison was so committed to securing votes for women that in 1913, to highlight the campaign, she threw herself under the King’s horse at the Derby horse race. She died of her injuries and was seen by many as a martyr to the cause.

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Finally in 1918 women over the age of 30 and married women/homeowners over the age of 21 were given the vote. In 1928 all women over 21 were given the vote, in 1969 the voting age was dropped to 18 for men and women.

Don't do politics?  

A brief exploration of the ways in which politics affects our daily lives and its importance in our society