Chapter

<b>Why Join the Party?</b>

Paul Whiteley, Patrick Seyd and Antony Billinghurst

in Third Force Politics

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780199242825
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604140 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199242828.003.0004
 Why Join the Party?

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This chapter examines the pathways to Liberal Democrat Party membership. The recruitment process is discussed, followed by what it means for the average respondent to be a party member. The key issue of why people join the party is then considered. In examining motives for joining, two theoretical models of political participation are utilized: the civic voluntarism model and the general incentives model. Both resources and choices are important in explaining why people join the party. Members have more resources in the sense of higher incomes, better educational attainments, and higher status class characteristics than voters, but incentives are also important for influencing the decision to join the party. Thus, both models appear to be relevant in explaining why people join.

Keywords: Liberal Democrat Party; membership; political participation; civic voluntarism model; general incentives model

Chapter.  8361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics

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