Political Activism: Campaigns and Voting

Introduction

voteThe Declaration of Independence was a declaration of war against Great Britain, in part and maybe most importantly, because the colonists had sought and been denied representation in Parliament despite being taxed. After the Revolutionary War was over, the United States was created and a new kind of representative democracy was created. I know no one who suggests that it is a perfect system or who doesn’t have an opinion about how it can be improved but one of the most important practices is one person, one vote. Each adult citizen get a vote in an election (there are some exceptions) and thus expresses her or his opinion about governance at the local, state, and national levels. Voting is the most basic step in being an active participant in a representative democracy—and the first step to becoming a citizen lobbyist.

Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often elected officials and regulatory officials who are appointed to their positions. Being a citizen lobbyist means taking actions as a constituent of your elected officials to ensure that they know your views and issues and represent you. In politics, the squeaky wheel—or the vocal constituent—gets the best results.

Taking this course will help you become a citizen lobbyist or more active constituent. By taking this online course, you are taking a step to realizing the power of being an active participant in your government. In order for a representative democracy to work the people have to hold those who represent them accountable. This course will highlight the value of voting and of participating in elections—at every level.

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