Civic Competence 03 – Easy – Ex.3

Democracy – civic participation tools 

Political participation means that you are participating in a political process by making your opinions and beliefs known. Citizens political participation describes an action taken by a citizen to influence the outcome of political issues. It’s not limited to voting. Match pictures with proper activity and learn more about who you can make a difference.

Click on the titles below to learn of the importance of each action

In a democracy voting is a single most important form of political participation in which you can take part in. It ensures that politicians are elected by the people, rather than being assigned to their position of power by someone else.

Expressing opinions to leaders is one avenue of political participation. You may contact public officials directly in their office or via post, e-mail, phone. New media development such as Twitter or Facebook brings new opportunities and facilitates interaction with your representatives.

During campaigns, people may work for political parties or candidates, organize campaign events, and discuss issues with family and friends. You may act as a volunteer or party member dedicating your time or even donating for a candidate you believe in. 

Being a public official requires a great deal of dedication, time, energy, and money. If you feel that you are able to meet those requirements and dedicate yourself to public cause you may always run for public office.

Public protest is another important form of political participation because you are making your opinion known in an attempt to influence or initiate change in a particular area of politics. A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies, or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations.

Civil society refers to the space for collective action around shared interests, purposes and values, generally distinct from government and commercial for-profit actors. Civil society includes charities, development NGOs, community groups, women’s organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trade unions, social movements, coalitions and advocacy groups. Even activities that on the surface do not seem to have much to do with politics can be a form of political participation. 

Participating in supporting activities is considered a rather passive form of political involvement which does not mean that is less important. You may attend concerts or participate in sporting events associated with causes, such as the “Race for the Cure” for breast cancer. These events are designed to raise money and awareness of societal problems, such as poverty or health care.