Politics Mark Scheme

In: Social Issues

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The way in which the quotation is framed invites students to consider political apathy alongside other reasons that might account for low levels of electoral turnout. It is likely that responses at all levels will demonstrate knowledge of the relatively low levels of turnout witnessed at recent general elections. Most will also demonstrate some awareness of what is meant by the term political apathy.
At the lower levels of response, it is likely that many students will simply accept the statement offered in the question and offer generalised statements in support which are not backed up by evidence drawn from ‘own knowledge’. For example, it might be argued that voters ‘cannot be bothered’ or that they are made apathetic by the fact that ‘both parties are the same’ and there is, as a result, ‘no point in voting’.
It is likely that most responses in Levels 3 and 4 on AO1 and AO2 will address a range of factors that have (or could be said to have) contributed to low turnout. Some students may offer these factors as alternatives to apathy. Others may view many of the factors they identify as causes of such political apathy – and may therefore end up broadly agreeing with the statement offered. Students are likely to make mention of factors such as the apparent convergence in party ideology/policy (the ‘end of ideology’ thesis), the inequities of the FPTP electoral system (safe seats, ‘electoral deserts’), the decline of long-term party identification/attachment (ie partisan dealignment), or a preference for engaging in other forms of political participation (eg through involvement in mainstream pressure groups, direct action or broader social movements). Responses at Level 2 on AO1 and AO2 may consist of little more than lists of factors, with little development and few, if any, examples.
Note that whilst the word ‘discuss’ might be taken to suggest a…...

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