4.3.4 Moral Influence in Politics
Moral influence in politics is visible in voting choices in democratic elections and in powering collective political action.
People might make political choices for economic reasons, or because they have strong views about how politics should be conducted, but often they are driven by the sense of what is morally right or wrong. In democracies their attitudes translate into support for political parties, as shown in a Pew Research survey: Why people are rich and poor: Republicans and Democrats have very different views.
Some people become politicians with a mission to exert moral influence in politics. As described later (6.1.3), politicians have the power to change the lives of other people – affecting the law, the economy, public services, and interactions with the leaders of other countries.
Many more people want to influence politicians:
● People’s moral values steer their personal involvement in politics (184.108.40.206). This is revealed in the political choices that they make in supporting politicians and policies that they approve of
● They can join with others to form pressure groups to advance moral initiatives (220.127.116.11). Various groups have been formed specifically to campaign for protecting the environment, for example.
● Religious organisations and other moral leaders can exert direct influence as spokespeople for all their followers (18.104.22.168). Politicians are influenced by them because they know how many people are religious.
This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books. An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/434a.htm