Apart from the two major systems of Government that is the presidential and cabinet systems of Government , there are other system or institutional forms of Government. They include Federal, Con federal and unitary systems of Government.
Forms Of Government
Democracy which Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg speech described as the government, of the people, by the people and for the people is a movement from the Rule of the few to the Rule of the many, Democracy is thus a form of government in which the supreme power of the state is vested in the people collectively and is administered by them or by officers elected by them. The distinguishing badge of a democracy is the acceptance and recognition of the essential equality of all, before the law. This in turn dictates equality of rights and privileges by the social, political or religious. There cannot therefore be any meaningful democracy without justice, liberty and freedom.
Another definition of democracy is that it is a system of government in which the will of the majority of qualified citizens prevails, Democracy can also be defined as a majority government or a government elected by the majority of the electorate (qualified adult citizens).
There are two types of of democracy. They are :
Direct Democracy : This is the type of democracy where every qualified adult citizens in a state or community participate in decision making directly without electing representatives. The Igbo-traditional society and the Greek city states practiced this type of democracy.
Indirect Democracy : This is the type of democracy where the qualified adult citizens in a community or state elect members or representatives into the parliament who then take decisions on their behalf. This is the type of democracy practiced in this modern time.
This type of democracy is sometimes referred to as representative government . democracy as a system of government originated from the Greeks. In a democracy political sovereignty is vested on the people or electorate.
Features/Characteristics Of Democratic Government
The main features of a democratic government are;
Free and Fair elections of representatives
The rule of law
Equality before the law
Periodic election – elections are held from time to time to elect the leaders
Supremacy of the law
Fundamental human right
Independence of the judiciary
Freedom of the press
Existence of opposition political parties especially in a parliamentary system of government.
Advantages of Democracy
An efficient form of government
Abuse of power is avoided since a bad government can be voted out
It upholds individual liberties
It is a rational form of government
It assures equality
Order and progress goes together in democracy
It educates the masses
It ensure a stable form of government
It promotes patriotism
Disadvantages Of Democracy
Unscrupulous individuals may use thuggery to intimidate opponents.
The best may not win elections.
It is expensive form of government.
Unhealthy competition between politicians and some times political parties could lead to tension, crises and political instability.
This is the rule by king or Queen. It is the oldest form of government based on Queen or king as the leader or head of government.
He is not subject to any limitations. He does anything according to his own will. He is the sovereign. He is the supreme judge, high priest, Britain and Traditional Africa societies.
There are absolute monarch and constitutional monarch;
An absolute monarch – Is a king whose authority is not limited, by law, final authority rest on him.
Constitutional monarch – In a constitutional monarch the power of the king is limited by law that is the Queen of England is a constitutional monarch. She can only do or act on advice by the prime minister and the cabinet.
In human history, society has developed and progressed from communalism to feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.
Communalism is the first, most primitive and the simplest mode of production. In this system or mode of production the land and what is produced from the land belongs to all members of the community and equitably distributed or shared.
This is an economic term in which private persons are permitted (under regulations laid by the state) to undertake enterprises providing or borrowing the necessary capital to produce goods and services and taking the profits. If any, after all the cost of production has been subtracted. It essential features are are the private ownership of mean of production and distributed. Individualism, exploitation, inequality in wealth and property inheritance. Britain; Nigeria, USA and West Germany, are good examples of capitalism.
Socialism is philosophical, political and economic theory which says that ‘land, transport, the chief industries, natural resources examples coal, water, power etc should be owned and managed by the state or by public bodies and wealth equally distributed.
Socialism is also a type of ideology and economic system which allows the state the right to own and control the commanding heights of an economy, Commanding heights of an economy refers to the essential industries in a state or country such as electricity, water, iron and steel etc.
Socialism as an economic system does not allow or encourage individual ownership of private properties. Socialism encourages state ownership of everything including agriculture. Socialism as an ideology primarily aims at eradicating excessive capitalist exploitation in different parts of the world. It aim at bridging the gap between the haves and haves nots.
In countries where socialism is practice such as Soviet Union, Poland, Romania etc there is free education at all levels, free medical services, full employment etc. The state carters for everybody. Everybody belongs to the state and works for the interest of the state.
Karl Marx defined communism as the last stage of socialism. Communism is a term coined by Karl Marx to describe the process of withering away of the state, in other words communism is a type of economic system and ideology which presupposes that there will be a time the state will wither away and there will be no government. Communism as an ideology does not recognizes unlimited individual, freedom and liberty. The individual is the master of himself and is not under any rule. There is nothing like exploitation or inequality, since under socialism, all these have been taken care of. The individual is free to pursue his own business the way it suit him or her without interfering with the liberty or right of others. Under communism everybody is equal and happy. Every man according to his needs.
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