Civic responsibility refers to the duty of a citizen. It comprises of actions that are geared towards social participation and governance within a society. Depending on constitutional and social policies in a community, civic responsibility may entail responsibilities in government, churches, and voluntary groups (Dalton and Welzel 5). Furthermore, advocacy actions caused by factors such as political, social, and economic evils also amount to civic duty. Primarily, civic responsibility is important in society because it supports democratic and philanthropic success in a country. Voting is an example of civic responsibility. Be it in national elections or in various societal associations, all citizens have civic responsibility to vote leaders of their choice. Through voting, citizens also exercise their democratic rights to determine methods of governance.
Individual Case Study
Recently, I registered as a voter for the United States national elections. Taking part in elections is a civic responsibility in most countries. To attain the desired approaches to governance and democracy, all citizens should vote. As a registered voter for the U.S. national elections, I can vote for my preferred candidates to hold different offices. Starting from the President of the U.S. to state legislators, voting as a civic duty is the most essential tool for prosperity of America. That is, if all citizens turn up and vote without being influenced by political or discriminatory issues, individuals elected to office will portray the best interests of civilians. I believe that I have taken the first step by registering and subsequently, voting in the next elections will be a fulfilment of my civic responsibilities.
Although voting is considered as a civic responsibility, there is a debate on the exercise as a right too. In the United States, for example, voting is a right. Other developed democracies such as Britain and countries in the Middle East also consider voting as a human right (Dalton and Welzel 5). When assessed from a human rights perspective, voting supersedes civic responsibility. That is, electing leaders is then treated as an activity in which individuals have the right to choose whether to take part or not. However, when considered a civic responsibility, it appears like a mandatory call. According to Almond and Verba, activities that are identified as civic responsibility are often obligate in nature (12). Therefore, when voting is categorised as a civic duty, all citizens are entitled to take part in the exercise.
Voting also portrays civic responsibility from a political participation perspective. As a citizen of the U.S., it is my responsibility to ensure that political governance is right. Since I may not be actively involved in politics, the best I can do for my country is voting in the best leaders. All humans desire to live in an ideal world where they can realize their dreams. For this reason, the current generation must lay a proper foundation for future generations. Civic responsibility is a tool that can be used to improve the world and ensure that through effective governance, society is ready for the future. Voting is also considered as a moral civil responsibility because it is the leeway for establishment of an inclusive government with the interest of all stakeholders at heart.
Comparison with other Cultures
As a civic responsibility, voting is embraced in most cultures. In British Culture, for example, voting is considered as a civic responsibility because of the benefits to society. It is only through voting that society can come up with structural leadership and development. Although the British governance system is different from that of the United States, voting lies at the heart of the Constitution (Almond and Verba 13). Britain has also become a modern democracy through support of civic responsibilities particularly free and fair elections. Such a system is comparable to the U.S. and other developed democracies. Even in developing countries, voting is a civic responsibility and right for all citizens.
In an interview with a friend from Britain, he revealed that voting in the British culture is positively embraced as a civic responsibility. In fact, it is a fundamental right that is enshrined in the Constitution. He also noted that most people consider voting as an avenue through which they can express their concerns in matters governance and social development. Both as a right and civic duty, voting is fundamental and brings together people from diverse cultures to unite. In the interview, I gained more insights regarding cultural perceptions of civic duty and how such feelings influence social and economic outcomes in society.
Civic responsibility simply refers to the duties of a citizen. Often, such duties involve political participation and social organizations. Voting is a civic responsibility of all citizens. Regardless of political affiliation or ethnic origins, voting allows everyone to express their feelings through the ballot. Since civic responsibility should create effective societal systems like good governance, voting qualifies as a civic duty. Furthermore, not all citizens can become leaders concurrently, implying that voting gives people an opportunity to elect representatives. Having registered as a voter for the United States national election, I am fulfilling my civic responsibility.
Almond, Gabriel Abraham, and Sidney Verba. The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. Princeton university press, 2015.
Dalton, Russell J., and Christian Welzel, eds. The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens. Cambridge University Press, 2014.