Government

Constitution: Meaning, Qualities and Importance of Constitution

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 16th April, 2019 @ 12:49 PM

Topics in Government

Facts on Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy One-party system explained with its advantages and disadvantages What is Democracy? Definitions of Democracy Types of Government Arms of Government: Functions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, First Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work for Government, SS1, Third Term Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Party System Concept, Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-Party System What are pressure groups? Types of pressure group Characteristics of Pressure Group Types of Constitution Scope of Government Characteristics of Government Importance of Government One-party system explained with its types and characteristics Multi-party system explained with its characteristics Party System: Zero Party System Two-Party System explained with its Characteristics


Academic Questions in Government

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The following countries practice a zero party system except _____.

  • A. Cambodia

  • B. Vatican City

  • C. Bahrain

  • D. Saudi Arabia

  • E. Oman

  • F. Kuwait

Which of the following is not a characteristic of the two-party system?

  • A. It is democratic in nature

  • B. There isn't a third party

  • C. The two parties are always dominant in the political terrain

  • D. The president must emerge from one of both parties

  • E. It encourages freedom of expression at the press

  • F. It presents a choice of candidates to the people

In a two-party system,  only 2 political parties are present in countries where they are practised.

  • A. True

  • B. False

A type of democracy whereby shura is practiced is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

A type of democracy whereby the people vote a bill into law is termed _____ democracy

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory

In democracy, every citizen has got the right to vote and be vote for. Also, the principle one man one vote in this regard refers to which characteristic of democracy?

  • A. Separation of power

  • B. Freedom of expression

  • C. Constitutional supremacy

  • D. Rule of Law

  • E. Political equality

  • F. Popular sovereignty

Democracy is defined as a government formed by the consent of the governed.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following is not a type of democracy?

  • A. Peripheral democracy

  • B. Direct democracy

  • C. Islamic democracy

  • D. Representative democracy

  • E. Participatory democracy

  • F. Authoritarian democracy


Meaning of constitution:

No one is above the constitution, even the president or prime minister. The government can only act in accordance to the powers granted them by the constitution. All the citizens of a country are to live by the rules in the constitution which can be written or unwritten.

Please read more on gender equality here


The constitution determines how powers should be distributed and exercised among the various organs of government and those over whom such powers will be exercised.

It also contains the fundamental human rights of the citizens within a country. Ultimately, the constitution is the supreme and fundamental law of a country or state.

Please read on the responsibilities, duties and obligations of a citizen here


With regards to the above introduction, the following can be deduced concerning the constitution:

  • The constitution is the supreme law in a country, nation or state.
  • The constitution specifies how the nation or state should be governed.
  • The constitution gives power to the different organs of government; that is: the executive, judiciary and legislature respectively.
    Please read on the organs/arms here.
  • The constitution consists of all the fundamental human rights of the people.

Juxtaposing the above points, the constitution is thus defined below:

Constitution is defined as a supreme law that specifies the government of a nation, the distribution of powers to the different organs of government within that nation and the fundamental rights of all her citizens.

Please read more on the fundamental human rights here

 

Qualities of a constitution

  1. It is neither too rigid nor too flexible.
    Please read on the types of constitution here.
  2. It accounts for the rule of law, de-centralization of power, an independent Judiciary system and processes of election transparency.
  3. It accounts for the fundament human rights of the people.
  4. It allocates power to the different arms of government.
    You can read on the functions of government here.
  5. It must uphold the people’s sovereignty.
    Please read on democracy here.
  6. It is written systematically.

Note: The qualities of a constitution may also be referred to as the characteristics of a constitution.

 

Importance of constitution

  1. It upholds the people’s sovereignty.
    Please read on God's sovereignty here.
  2. It protects the citizen’s fundamental human rights.
  3. It governs the citizens of a nation since no one is above the constitution.
    Please read on citizenship and civic responsibility here.
  4. It provides a means of separation of powers.
  5. It project the goals of a nation.

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Amazing facts in Government

White House in Washington has 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms while Buckingham Palace in London has 775 rooms, including 78 bathrooms

Three United States presidents; John Adams (2nd US president), Thomas Jefferson (3rd US president), and James Monroe (5th US president) died on the 4th of July.

Coincidentally, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson also died the same year, and that's 1826.

Abraham Lincoln, the great human emancipator, freedom fighter and 16th American president was popular for the saying:

Government of the people, by the people and for the people

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America was a professional wrestler before he assumed the office of the American President. Interestingly, he was only defeated once in his wrestling career


NOTABLE POINTS IN Government

Government can be defined under the following headings:

1. As an institution of a state.

Government is defined as an institution, agency, machinery or instrument that is established to manage the affairs of general welfare of the people making up a state or country

 

2. As a process or as an act of governing.

Government is defined as the processes and methods involved in the formulation, administration and implementation of public policies from a procedure which had been specifically spelt out in the constitution of a country or state

 

3. As an academic field of study.

Government is defined as the study of institutions, theories, ideas, values and doctrines as relating to the acquisition and use of political power for the welfare of the people

Please read more on the definitions of government here

End Sars - Len Academy

The End Sars is considered a pressure group in Nigeria. It campaigned in the interest of Nigerian youths, thus forcing the Nigerian government into scrapping the Special Anti-Robbery Squard (SARS) who had constantly brutalized Nigerians, especially the youths; through extortion, indiscriminate shootings, threats and other violent conducts.

Unfortunately, some Nigerian youths paid the ultimate price with their lives at the Lekki tollgate massacre. This happened on the 20th day of October, 2020.

Burna Boy, a Nigerian musician made a song titled '20 : 10 : 20' in this regard.

Please read on pressure groups in Nigeria here

The organs of government (also referred to as arms of government or branches of government) are:

  1. Executive

  2. Legislature

  3. Judiciary

These three arms of government serves as a separation of power.

Separation of Power implies that they carry out their distinct (separate) functions and responsibilities in accordance to the nation's constitution.

The president (who is number one citizen of a country and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) is the head of the executive arm of government. It is the responsibility of the executive to enforce or execute the law.

 

The legislature is a group of elected persons who are required to make law.

In Nigeria, the legislature consist of the bicameral national assembly which are:

  1. The upper house or chamber (Senate)

  2. The lower house or chamber (House of Representative)

 

The judiciary is an independent arm of government whose power is enforced in the courts.

Like the executive and legislature, they function under the guidance of the constitution.

Please read more on the organs of government here

Below are some functions of the executive arm of government:

  1. They ensure the security of the citizens in a country.

  2. The executive cannot pass laws into the constitution. Instead, they can forward bills to the legislature (or parliament) which will deliberate upon it. (Think of 'bill' as a proposal to be made into law; which will be submitted to the parliament in the form of a draft act).

  3. It is the president's responsibility to provide quality healthcare system, education, good roads (transport system), power, labour and finance through his ministers. For instance, the minister of agriculture oversees the affairs of agriculture in a nation. The ministers may also be accountable to the national assembly with regards to how they go about their ministries.

  4. They bring about maintenance of law and order in a country through the National Security Agencies (NSA) like the police, army, navy and air force.

  5. They prepare and execute the nation’s budget.

  6. The president approves the law into the constitution.

Plesse read more on the functions of executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government here

No one is above the constitution, even the president or prime minister.

  • The constitution is the supreme law in a country, nation or state.

  • The constitution specifies how the nation or state should be governed.

  • The constitution gives power to the different organs of government; (that is,  the executive, judiciary and legislature).

  • The constitution consists of all the fundamental human rights of the people.

Juxtaposing the above points, below is a definition for the term constitution:

Constitution is a supreme law that specifies the government of a nation, the distribution of powers to the different organs of government within that nation and the fundamental rights of all her citizens.

Please read more on the constitution here