Civic Education

Characteristics of Democracy

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 22nd August, 2019 @ 11:38 AM

Topics in Civic Education

Consequences of dishonesty Importance of values Examination malpractice in Nigeria, causes and solutions Orderliness in civic education Importance of orderliness Examples of orderliness Cooperation in civic education What is honesty? Who is a dishonest person? Cultism: Characteristics of Cultism Cultism: Reasons why people join Cults Illiteracy: Causes of Illiteracy Responsibilities, Duties and Obligations of a Citizen What is Civic Responsibility and Who is a Citizen? Reputation: How to build a good reputation Characteristics of Democracy Cooperation - Factors that promote Cooperation Cooperation: Types of Cooperation Attributes and Benefits of Honesty Meaning and Types of Values in Civic Education Community service explained with its benefits

Academic Questions in Civic Education

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

value that belongs naturally to someone is said to be _____.

  • A. Self

  • B. Neutral

  • C. Humane

  • D. Positive

  • E. Negative

  • F. Intrinsic

A traffic offender mandated to clean the roads is said to have carried out community service.

  • A. True

  • B. False

The following are solutions to cultism except _____.

  • A. The evils and dangers of cultism should be taught from primary schools

  • B. Government should legalize the use of guns so that students can protect themselves from cultist

  • C. Laws that discourage cultism should be passed into the constitution

  • D. Government should work to increase the standard of living in the society

  • E. Government should provide amnesty to encourage cult members renounce their membership

  • F. Religious groups should evangelize and pray for known cult members

With regards to cultism in Nigeria, the pyrates and magnificent seven was formed in which university.

  • A. University of Lagos

  • B. University of Ibadan

  • C. University of Ife

  • D. University of Calabar

  • E. University of Portharcourt

  • F. Ahmadu Bello University

The following factors may contribute to illiteracy in a society except _____.

  • A. Presence of academic structures

  • B. Culture

  • C. Poverty

  • D. Dyslexia and Dysorthogràphia

  • E. Corruption

  • F. Lack of awareness

Dr. Stella Ameyo Adedavoh - Len Academy

The above image shows a gallant Nigerian, Doctor Stella Ameyo Adedavoh who sacrificed her life in the act of service, during a disease outbreak in the country. What disease outbreak was this?

  • A. Bird Flu

  • B. COVID-19

  • C. Monkey Pox

  • D. Ebola

  • E. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

  • F. Chicken Pox

Which of the following is not an obligation of a citizen?

  • A. Payment of tax

  • B. Exercising the right to vote

  • C. Service as a jury when called upon

  • D. Fighting crimes without any need of reporting it

  • E. Ready to defend the country

  • F. Engagement in community and volunteer services

A legal process through which a citizen of one country gains citizenship into another country is termed _____.

  • A. International pass

  • B. Residential pass

  • C. Nationalization

  • D. Naturalization

  • E. Green card

  • F. Internationalization

Characteristics of Democracy:

The popular term democracy originated from the fusion of two Greek words. These are 'demos' which means people and 'kratia' meaning government or rule.

According to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th American president, he expressed democracy in words that have become its popular definition to this day: He described it as government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Please read on the types of democracy here.

Democracy is one of the forms of government and it allows the people to choose their leaders.

If the democratically elected leaders are failing in their responsibility, democracy also permits that such leaders can be rejected by the people. This is true because the power to choose and reject the leaders is vested on the people in a democratized society.

With the popular notion that the power to choose various leaders and those vying for political offices are vested in the hands of the people, democracy has shown the following characteristics or features as explained below:


1. Constitutional Supremacy

A constitution is the highest or supreme law in a country, nation or state, specifying how such nation or state should be governed. In democracy, the constitution ranks above everyone, even the president or prime minister.

Please read more on constitution here.

It is the supremacy of the constitution that permits for the removal of a democratically elected official. Such official (even if he or she is the president of a nation) may be made to face trial at a law court if certain sections of the constitution had been violated.

Supremacy of the constitution is a very important feature of democracy. For this reason, it gives rise to the popular phrase: 'No one is above the law'.

However, understand that where there is the presence of massive corruption in a country, constitutional supremacy can become ineffective or dysfunctional.

Please read on gender equality and ways to achieve it here.


2. Rule of the Majority

You may have heard of the popular saying: 'The voice of the people is the voice of God'. This saying may have emanated from democracy since the voice or vote of majority of the people determines their leaders.

The process of a free and fair election is the most important tool in which democracy utilizes in determining the rule of the majority. This implies that majority of the people will determine the political positions of electoral candidates (for instance; the presidential and gubernatorial candidates) through their respective vote.

It is noteworthy to state that without the vote of a majority of the people, one cannot be a politically elected officer in a democratized society.


3. Freedom of Expression

This is one of the fundamental human rights and democracy permits for its realization. In this regard, the freedom of expression empowers the media and the general public to report various activities of the government.

Unfortunately, we have seen how policemen and soldiers shot at peaceful protesting citizens at a pointblank range without any form of trial and conviction. An instance of this evil act occurred in the EndSars campaign which took place in Lekki, Lagos on October 20, 2020. However, such unconstitutional act was brought to light through the social media, all thanks to democracy.

Note: The absence of democracy may result to a ban on mass media from reporting issues (especially the negatives of the incumbent government); be it on the radio, television or the internet at large. This typically happens in a military or dictatorship form of government.

Please read on the forms of government here.


4. Political Equality

In democracy, every citizen has the right to vote and be voted for. Also, there is the principle of 'one man, one vote' to further express political equality.

If one thinks he or she has what it takes to bring about a positive change in the society (at any political level), they can register with a political party, or form a new political party. Such person(s) will be voted into power in a free and fair election if majority of the people entrust him or her with their votes.

Therefore, we should should not disenfranchise ourselves by not utilizing either or both of our democratic rights; that is, right to vote and be voted for.


5. Separation of Power

Separation of power is an important characteristic in a democratic state. This imply that one arm of government must be on oversight by another arm. In this manner, the excesses of one arm of government is checked by another.

As an instance, the executive arm of government (comprising the president, vice presidents, and ministers amongst others) must be checked by the legislative and judiciary arms of governments respectively. To this end, the president may be impeached by the upper and lower houses (legislators) if he or she is found guilty of breaking some important rule of law.

The arms or branches of government are:

  1. Executive

  2. Legislator

  3. Judiciary

  4. Please read on the arms of government here.


6. Popular Sovereignty

One of the meanings of the word sovereignty is 'to be in control'. Popular sovereignty in democracy imply that the vote of the people have absolute control over any government decision.

Meanwhile, recall that the main goal of democracy is the freedom to choose who governs, and this ultimately rests on the people. For this reason, the vote of the majority is considered to be popular and sovereign.

You can read on the sovereignty of God here.


7. Multi-Party System

In a democratic system, political parties are established and they house the political aspirants.

Ideally, we should have two or more political parties so that the people can optimally vote in their preferred candidates through their respective parties.

Please read on multi-party system here

Oftentimes, we seem to have a strong opposition party to the ruling party; and that’s a good thing for democracy. In fact, it would even be better if we can have more than two strong opposition parties in a political system.

In Nigeria, the 'All Progressive Congress' (APC) and 'Peoples Democratic Party' (PDP) are the two major opposition parties as at 2019.

United States of America have got the Democratic Party and the Republicans as the two strongest opposition parties. Apart from these two, three other thriving parties are the:

  1. Libertarian Party
  2. Green Party
  3. Constitution Party


8. Human Rights

Each citizen of a nation is entitled to his or her fundamental human rights. These rights are often spelt out in the constitution of a nation. However, an important feature of democracy is the respect for these rights.

Some of the fundamental human rights of every citizen include:

  • Right to life
  • Right to movement
  • Right to freedom of speech
  • Right to religion
  • Right to property and so on.

Please read more on fundamental human rights here.


9. Rule of Law

In democracy, the law of the land must rule above everyone, even the president of the country. To this end, no one is above the rule of law in a democratic society.

This rule of law is supreme. In this regard, it gives rise to equality, equity and justice which are often visible in a democratized society.

You can read on the attributes of citizens and residents here.

Kindly share this article via the links below:


Please click here to contact Alfred if you require any of the following services:

  • If you need a standard website at an affordable price.

  • Online training on the academic subjects: biology, chemistry and basic science.

  • If you require an advanced smart school management system (web application) for your school.

Click here to read on Len Academy Smart School Software.

Please click here to follow Len Academy on Google News.

Please Register here or Login here to contribute to this topic by commenting in the box below.

Amazing facts in Civic Education

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education activist, and she is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize award at age 17 in 2014, for her work as a child rights activist and champion of girls’ right to education

Canadians are so popular for being incredibly polite. For this reason, the province of Ontario in 2009 passed the 'Apology Act'. The apology act states that:

Saying 'sorry', which can be an expression of sympathy or regret can't legally be considered an admission of guilt or fault

Notable points in Civic Education

All human beings are entitled to a fundamental, inalienable, non-discriminatory, indivisible and universal rights which is termed human rights.

These fundamental rights of humans will allow each and every one of us to live in freedom, equality, fairness, respect, peace and justice.

There is neither discrimination nor distinction in human rights. It doesn't matter if you are are white or black, a Nigerian or a Chinese, male or female, physically challenged or physically complete, rich or poor, yoruba, igbo or hausa, christian, muslim, hindu or an atheist.

The point is: 'we all share the same human rights'.

Below are some of our rights as humans:

  • Right to life

  • Right to freedom, liberty and equality

  • Right to religion and belief

  • Right to food and shelter

  • Right to education

  • Right to a fair trial and to follow the due process of the law

  • Right to be free from torture

  • Right to innocence until proven guilty

  • Right to belong to a country. (Right to nationality)

  • Right to freedom of thought and speech

  • Right to live a life free from discrimination

  • Right to movement

  • Right to democracy

  • Please read on the fundamental human rights here

A citizen has the following rights:

  1. You have the entire right and privileges as defined in your country’s law.

  2. No one can take away your citizenship.

  3. You can hold a passport from your country of citizenship.

  4. You can pass your citizenship to your children.

  5. You don’t have to fulfill any minimum stay to become a citizen.

  6. Provided you have the passport of your country of citizenship, you are free to travel to any country which your country has travel agreement with.

  7. You can have dual citizenship.

A legal resident in a country has the following attributes within that country:

  • They must provide their bio-metric information.

  • They can enter their country of residence on many occasions. However, when they break any of the residents’ status, they may be denied further entry into the country of residence.

  • They are able to freely live, study, work and travel within their country of residence.

  • They will still utilize their international passport (from their country of citizenship) for travels, but not their resident card or permit.

  • They can become a resident after fulfilling their stay requirement. As an instance, one may become a resident when they had lived for 10 years in a country without any issues.

  • They can only naturalize (become a citizen) after faithfully living as a resident throughout the required number of years.

  • They can lose their residential status when convicted for serious crimes.

Please read more on the rights of citizens and attributes of residents here.

Cooperation can be defined as the process of coming together, working together and helping one another to achieve a common goal

According to A.W Green

Cooperation is the continuous and common endeavor of two or more persons to perform a task or to reach a goal that is commonly cherished

According to F.E Merrill

Cooperation is a form of social interaction wherein two or more persons work together to gain a common end.

There is this saying from the chairman of Microsoft concerning cooperation; and it goes thus:

Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning - Bill Gates

Read more on cooperation here