The Subsidiarity of Individual Political Influence

The subsidiarity of individual political influence ranges from involvement in local issues through to worldwide influence via the Internet.

Local policy issues, such as planning and service delivery, are of a different nature from national issues such as levels of taxation and foreign policy.  In Europe, there is also a European Parliament with its own policy choices.

People can demonstrate concern ( at any level of politics, from local to global.  As described by the BBC, in an article entitled COP21: Thousands join London climate change march, there were “2,500 demonstrations taking place around the world” to demonstrate people’s concern, in the hope that politicians would then agree to act to limit carbon emissions.

They can use the Internet, to influence fellow citizens or politicians, all over the world (

Most democracies allow a subsidiarity of individual political influence through elections at several levels: local, regional, national.  European citizens can also vote in European elections.  In practice, though, people have insufficient information or awareness to vote meaningfully at multiple levels of political control – as described later (6.6.7).


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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/edition04/6613.htm.