Chapter 1THE PROBLEM OF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Democratic type of government is believed to be one of the most effective when it comes to considering people’s inner sentiments and to act according to their needs to run the government.
It is evident that democracy is one of the most used among the other kinds of governance in order to let the people feel they are involved with every decision their government is going to make. Democracy needs to ensure a healthy relationship between the government and its people, democracy requires its citizens to do more than just obeying and following what the government mandates to do so (Shively, Philips. 2008). In a democracy, citizens are required to embody the characteristics of being democratic citizens in order to help their government run like a true democratic country. These characteristics are: tolerance, this requires a democratic citizen to be more tolerant with diversity; active participation because authority in a democracy works in a two-way process which requires the citizens to take concrete political actions to exercise their authority over the government; high level of interest and information which indicates that being politically active is not enough, citizens too must always be highly informed and their interest to state’s affairs must be high; and varying support for the state, which requires the citizens to be supportive with the government whether or not their chosen official is elected (power and choice reference). With this, democracy is more than just encouraging its people to elect their chosen official but it needs to keep its citizens more involved especially within the arena of politics and always be a critical citizens, and this involvement and inclusion of the people is called Political Participation.Political Participation is a necessary tool of a democratic country to keep it democratic and to make its democracy effective.
It is important to study the levels of participation and engagement of the people because it will serve as a barometer of how well a democratic regime is working when it comes to attending the needs and aspirations of the masses (Pahad, n.d). Political participation must be continually being studied in order to identify how democratic a democratic regime is. In the Philippines, unconventional political participation often received a negative notion by the public.
Citizens who participate in demonstrations and rallies are criticized for being too critical when they were just exercising their inner characteristic of being a democratic citizen. These criticisms often discouraged the citizens to take their part and be actively involved with politics.In today’s politics, it is often the youths who are courageous enough to voice out their political sentiments and opinions. The researchers chose to study the political participation of the youths specifically the generation called millennials because they are the dominant generation and their behaviour will then become a norm. It is of its high time to study the political engagement and involvement of the millinneals. The research aims to study what is the political participation of the millineals or how they politically participate, the researchers by then can identify what kind of political participation millineals are more comfortable with, the study will also help the researchers identify what are the causes and factors that pushes the millineals to participate politically, and how the millineals shaped or reshaped the traditional type of political participation.The researchers choose to study the millineals of La Salle University specifically the students of La Salle to evaluate and test how politically active the Lasallians are. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATUREThis chapter further discuss and unravel both the narrow and broad definition of Political Participation and the review of related literature to concretize the grounds of this research.
Political Participation DefinedPolitical Participation as defined by (Janda, et.al. 1999-2000) is those actions taken by citizens whether to influence policies or to support the government. The definition acknowledges the two kinds of political participation which is the conventional and unconventional kind of political participation. Political participation is also defined by (SparkNotes Editors, 2010) as any activity that can be identified to be within the arena of politics. Political participation is to be understood as an activity that is not only limited to voting but outstretched its scope to activities like attending a rally, supporting political campaign or as simple as sending letter to a representative. Political participation by nature expects the enthusiasm and political inclusiveness of the citizens. Conventional political participation, as the first type of political participation, in definition is an activity that is appropriate and desirable to the dominant culture (SparkNotes Edtiors, 2010).
Conventional political participation is usually a routine behaviour usually seen in a representative government where citizens partcipate through voting and campaigning for their chosen official (Janda, et.al. 1999-2000).
Citizens often has the ability to influence or can affect the policies of the state if they engaged to a conventional type of political participation. The core value of conventional participation is that citizens should not have to risk their life and property to participate in politics, and they should not have to take direct actions to force the government to hear their views (Janda, et.al.
1999-2000). The assumption is that government listens if its citizens will indulge their selves to conventional political participation. Convention participation is the type political inclusiveness which became the main objective of a democratic regime. Other definition of conventional political participation is that these are the activities we expect from good citizens (SparkNotes Editors 2010).
Citizens who regularly participate are those who are strongly affiliated to politics. Conventional political behaviours fall into two major categories: actions that support government policies and action which tries to influence or change government policies (Janda, et.al. 1999-2000).
Supportive behaviours are those who simply show patriotism or allegiance to the country , citizenship is an example of a supportive behavior. While influencing behaviour use their influence to remodel or change public policies to further the people’s political interest (Janda, et.al.
1999-2000). Influencing behavior has two major forms: one is those who tries to gain specific benefits from the government, and the other is those which has a broader policy objectives . Those who tries to gain specific benefits from the government indulge their sleves to conventional political participation to further their personal interest; example of this is when citizens ask special services from their local government like contacting the city forestry department to remove a dead tree in front of their house. While those forms which have a broad policy objectives often resort to high initiative conventional political participation like for example running for office, attending party meetings, working in campaigns, or attending legislative hearing, and writing letters to congress.
This kind of influencing behaviour requires high initiative from the citizens. According to (Janda, et.al.
1999-2000) socioeconomic status is often the barometer in conventional political participation. They have suggested that people with more education, higher incomes, and white collar or professional occupations are the people who are more aware about politics and they know what to do to influence government actions (Janda, et.al. 1999-2000).
These people are predicted to participate in political activities than those people who are of lower socioeconomic status. Examples of conventional participation includes voting, becoming a volunteer for a political campaign, being involved in campaign donation, and serving in public office. The second type of political participation is the unconventional participation. Unconventional participation is an unusual activity that is undisirable to the dominant culture (Janda, et.
al. 1999-2000). This could be both stressful to the participants and to the opponent. These behaviours are not unlawful but percieved as inappropriate. The usual participants of uncoventional particpation are usually the youths, often the students, and those citizens with sentiments that is against the government’s policies. Unconventional participation is usually used by citizens when they felt that conventional participation is not enough to pressure their government to hear their views and sentiments.
One of the most popular successful unconventional political participation is the movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in 1995 Montgomery bus boycott where direct action was taken to question discrimanation; he led the assembly of people to confront local businesses and local governments where they demanded for equal treatment in public accommodations and government. Studies show that direct action is appealing to citizens who distrust the political system and those who are strongly commited to establish political efficacy —these people feel they can influence decisions in politics (Janda, et.al.
1999-2000). The decision to use unconventional participation usually depends to people’s consciousness as a group. This is why protestors are driven by strong emotions when they staged demonstrations because they are deeply motivated by their ideology to make a change or to influence policies.The other kind of political participation is usually taken by people who are an extremist believer of their ideology, and those who disgust legal means because it failed to cater their poltical means; this kind of political participation is called illegal political participation. This kind of political participation breaks the law to pressure their government and to further their political interest.
Example of illegal participation is political assasination, spreading terror attacks or an act of terrorism, and those activities who sabotage political campaign (SparkNotes Editors 2010). Political participation, whether conventional or unconventional, is a responsibility where citizens allocate their time or even their financial resources just to exercise political inclusiveness. Analysts suggested that democratic citizens are usually driven by idealism, responsibility, self-interest, and enjoyment (SparkNotes Editors 2010). Citizens participate out of the ideology they strongly believed. Citizens are driven to participate because participation, specifically conventional participation, is a responsibility of being a democratic citizen. Others are driven to participate because of their self-interest, because they can personally benefit out of their participation. But some citizens are motivated to participate because they simply enjoy public activity (SparkNotes Editors 2010).
But not every democratic citizen enjoyed nor has the time to participate politically. This nonparticipation of the citizens is often because of the contentment, freedom, apathy, and alienation. Lack of participation indicates that citizens are satisfied with the status quo, nonparticipation could mean contentment with the present administration. Democratic citizens are not motivated to participate because democracy grants its people the freedom to participate or not to participate.
While apathy to politics lead people not to participate because of the fact that they are not knowledgeable about politics and they care less about politics. And lastly, alienation leads the people to not participate because they feel that no one in government position bothers to listen their sentiments which made them to feel less affiliated with the government.