POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND VOTING RIGHTS
to show support or opposition for a policy. Individuals might blog or use other forms of social media to comment on political developments. Other forms of informal participation often revolve around political campaigns. Citizens might donate money to a candidate or a campaign to change public policy. They may also volunteer time for these efforts. Citizens can also volunteer to work at polls during elections or register people to vote. Sometimes such participation may take the form of membership in a political party or an interest group . It could also be as simple as donating money to a campaign, political party, or interest group. Demonstrations and protests are among the most visible methods of informal participation. These manifestations of public opinion may range from a few people to hundreds of thousands gathered together. Protests may disrupt traffic and commerce. The majority of protests are peaceful, but they can turn violent, leading to damage to property and scuffles between demonstrators and security officials. During protests on November 25, 2014, following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, more than 25 businesses were burned down, along with more than a dozen cars (including two police cars), and 80 people were arrested. Demonstrations can be a powerful political tool for people to voice their dissatisfaction with their government, however. Protests in January 2009 over the Icelandic government’s management of the country’s economic crisis led the prime minister to resign and schedule new elections. Protests against governments or government actions can take many forms besides street demonstrations. For instance, people may occupy a building or site. Environmental protestors have chained themselves to trees to prevent them being cut down for timber or commercial development. Protests may also be expressed through violence, including armed rebellions or terrorism .
Political Consultations Governments often utilize a variety of different forms of political consultations with their citizens. These meetings provide an opportunity for officials to explain policy or seek
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker