The scourge of Bristol City Council, The Bristol Blogger, has written a powerful piece outlining one of the reasons why political engagement has declined. A Dispersal Order on College Green (home to Bristol City Council) was made without the elected representatives for the area being told. they first heard about it in the local paper. As The Bristol Blogger says:
So there you have it. A whole series of our elected representatives,
directly responsible for the area in question, all against the
dispersal order and what happens? The dispersal area remains in place!
And then they wonder why people don’t vote. Perhaps it’s got
something to do with the fact that our politicians don’t have any
power? Instead they’re given access to newspapers to issue some kind
words, handed very expensive publicly funded debating chambers to hang
around whinging in and then, presumably, they just hope nobody will
notice they don’t actually do anything whatsoever?
People will engage with politics if they feel it can make a difference, but if politicians become disengaged from power then even fewer people will engage with them.