Topics in GovernmentDemocracy and Types of Democracy Democracy - Characteristics of Democracy Government - Types and Forms of Government Characteristics, Functions and Importance of Government Definitions, Branches, Scope and Divisions of Government Organs, Arms or Branches of Government and their Functions Meaning, Types, Qualities and Importance of Constitution Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group Gender Equality, Ways to achieve Gender Equality
Academic Questions in Government
The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.
A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.
Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?
No one is above the constitution, even the president. 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.
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.
With regards to the above introduction, we can deduce the followings 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 the government, for example, the executive, judiciary and legislature.
The constitution consists of all the fundamental human rights of the people.
Juxtaposing the above points, we can therefore define a constitution thus:
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.
1. A constitution can be written or unwritten.
A written constitution will contain a document or series of document merged in the form of a book.
It is always enacted by a constituent assembly and can be amended based on how the amendment process had been defined in the constitution itself.
Written constitutions are codified, meaning that the constitutional document is the supreme law of the country and can only be amended or judged by a constitutional court.
Countries like Nigeria, United States of America and France all utilizes a written constitution.
An unwritten constitution is uncodified, meaning that its foundation and evolution is based on historical laws and concepts on the countries in which they govern.
Unwritten Constitution is not written into a book nor enacted by a constituent assembly.
Generally, the people of the country know their constitution and have come to embrace it. The United Kingdom makes use of an unwritten constitution.
Note: Some parts of an unwritten constitution are actually written in a book but such books may not be considered to be a legal document.
2. A constitution can also be flexible or inflexible (Inflexible constitution is sometimes referred to as a Rigid constitution).
The flexibility of a constitution determines the level of ease at which such constitution can be amended. For example, the constitution of Nigeria and United States of America is inflexible (or rigid) because it very difficult to make changes on it.
To amend a rigid constitution, the legislature will first need to pass the amendment bill, usually with the approval of 2/3rd majority of its constituent members.
The people of the nation may influence the passing of the amendment bill, thus a rigid constitution is often considered to reflect the will of the people.
A flexible constitution can be easily amended because it does not require complex procedures.
The British constitution is a typical example of a flexible constitution.
With a simple majority, the British parliament can make or amend the laws of the constitution.
3. The presidential, parliamentary, federal and unitary constitutions are also considered to be types of constitution.
In a presidential constitution, the president is the head of the execute arm of government. He or She is also Head of States.
The president is not a member of the judiciary, senate or house of representative.
In a parliamentary constitution, the prime minister is the head of the executive arm of government; and the members of the legislative arm of government is accountable to him or her.
The federal constitution is seen in countries like Nigeria and USA.
There is a central government and a state government. The president heads the central government while the various governors head each of their respective state within the country.
This type of constitution provides for the legislative competence under the central and state government.
The unitary constitution is practiced by the United Kingdom. The nations involved are centrally governed.
At present, it appears to be shifting into the federal type of constitution because some power are gradually tilting into the hands of the other constituents’ nations of the United Kingdom, which includes Wales, Northern Island and Scotland.
4. Other types of constitution are the evolved and enacted constitutions.
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Amazing facts in Government
NOTABLE POINTS IN Government
Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.
An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.
Other forms of government includes:
Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
According to Abrahim Lincoln,
Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.
In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.
NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.
Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.