You might have wondered what the point of politics is. Why are so many people eager to state their view? Are all politician’s the same? It might seem obvious, but there are actually some very important reasons for why politics exists as we know it. It has some serious functions that affect you in ways you might not even realise. Here are a few:
1. Resolve conflict: Ok, so they might not get involved if you argue with your siblings over who last did the washing up or whose turn it is to watch TV, but the principles are the same. We don’t all agree on everything and the same can be said about society at large. For example, some people might support demolishing an old house to build new flats, whilst others might want to protect the house for its historic value. The two groups, although protesting against each other, are unlikely to have a physical battle because they have access to politicians to press their views and help diplomacy (your parents might play very similar roles in the washing up battle!) Politics helps harmonise battles and provides a peaceful way of airing different points of view.
2. Encourage compromise: As you probably know, we don’t all agree on everything and in all arguments, you are likely to reach a compromise. This means, you might do the washing up, whilst your brother does the drying. Or you might watch 15 minutes of The Simpsons, before letting your sister watch Friends. Imagine this on a larger scale and you’ve cracked it: politics is about compromise for the greater good of the country. People often will accept things happening they might not agree with because they respect the mechanics behind the political process (whether it be its traditions or legality.)
3. Accommodate different interests: Politics is an outlet for different organisations and groups to state their view to encourage support and enact change. For example, your sibling might think the best way to get those pesky dishes clean is to put them in the dishwasher, whereas you might take the proactive approach of washing them up instantly. In a roughly similar fashion, pressure groups are professional bodies which have expertise and policy objectives for a particular area they are interested. For example, the British Medical Association have an interest in how the National Health Service is run. These groups are very important and politics plays a key role in allowing their views expression. They do this through lobbying government ministers for change.
4. Determine who exercises power: In most societies, someone is in charge. Politics is the way people can decide who governs the United Kingdom. Those registered to vote (above 18 years old – not long to go now!) elect around 650 Members of Parliament and the party with the biggest grouping of these MP’s goes on to form the government of the country. The daily interest in political affairs helps shape people’s decisions for future elections.
There we have it, point proven — politics is important.