Government

Characteristics of Government

len Alfred Ajibola -29th December, 2019 @ 1:47 PM

Topics in Government

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 Types of Democracy explained


Academic Questions in Government

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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

Which of the following is not a characteristics of democracy?

  • A. Kingdom supracy

  • B. Rule of law

  • C. Political equality

  • D. Separation of power

  • E. Freedom of expression

  • F. Popular sovereignty

The following are functions of government except _____.

  • A. To provide free money for her citizens

  • B. To make laws as contained in the constitution

  • C. To defend and protect the lives and properties of her citizens

  • D. To provide a justice system

  • E. To generate revenue for the country

  • F. To maintain law and order through the law enforcement agencies

Government may be defined as an agency or machinery or instrument that is established to manage the general welfare of the people that make up a country.

In the above statement, government is defined _____.

  • A. As a process

  • B. As an act of governing

  • C. As an institution of a state

  • D. As an academic field o study

  • E. As a political wheel

  • F. As a machine of movement


Characteristics of Government:

Recall that government is an institution or agency established to manage the affairs and general welfare of the people that make up a state or country.

As an instance, within your country, you probably have got good roads, clean water, good healthcare system and quality educational system; all of which are a function of your government: that is, all aforementioned infrastructures are made available by your government.

Please read on the functions of government here.


Government as an entity has its various characteristics or features that defines it. Below are explanations on the characteristics of a government:


  • Law

It is the function of the government to make law; and these laws are entrenched in the constitution.

Please read on the constitution here.

To be more specific, the legislative arm of government is responsible for the making of law. For this reason, people will often refer to the legislators as lawmakers of a country or state. Meanwhile, understand that the legislature is considered as one of the arms (or organs) of government.

Please read on the arms of government here.

 

  • Power

The government has the ability to exercise authority over its citizens because it wields political power. As an instance, the minister of housing (who is also a part of the government) may approve the demolishment of buildings in a community in order to recreate better accommodations for residents of that community.

From the above instance, the owners of such buildings may disagree with the opinion of the minister; and the best they can do regarding their disagreement is to seek refuge in another arm of government and that’s through the judiciary (or court).

Please read on the concept of government here.


Note: The judges and justices of various courts are a part of the government since they make up the judicial arm of government.

Whenever you hear statements like: 'This political party is in power', it implies that the members of such political party are in government and automatically, power is attributed to them by virtue of the constitution.
Please read on multi-party system here.

 

  • Revenue

Since it is the responsibility of the government to give security, good roads, quality education and other necessary infrastructures to her citizens, then a lot of money will be needed to accomplish these purposes. In this regard, government must therefore generate revenue (money) through various means. This will include:

You can read on balance of trade and balance of payments here.

 

  • Legitimacy or Public Support

Every government must be recognized and accepted by the people. Ideally, a good government is never imposed on the people as we had seen or heard in military and dictatorship rule.

Please read on the forms of government here.

Meanwhile, understand that the legitimately of a government is a function of democracy.

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Abraham Lincoln.

Please read on the types of democracy here.

Power is vested on the people in democracy. This power is exercised in the choosing of their leaders through their votes during election.

Please read on fundamental human rights here.

 

  • Periodic Change

No government is permanent. This means that no government can rule forever.

Taking Nigeria as a reference, an election must be conducted once every four years so that her citizens can choose their president, governors, senators, local government chairmen and so on. This is what democracy entail. As a result, no one can rule forever in a democratic system of government.

Please read on the characteristics of democracy here.

 

  • Workforce

Every government must have men and women who will assist in implementing and interpreting the various government policies in the civil space.

Please read on civic responsibility here.

I want to assume that you probably would know someone who works with (or for) the government of your country. These workforces are paid by the government for their respective services to the state.

Please read the concept of business studies here.

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Amazing facts in Government

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. Interesting, he was only defeated once in his wrestling career


NOTABLE POINTS IN Government

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

Below are some qualities or characteristics of a constitution:

  • It is neither too rigid nor too flexible.

  • It accounts for the rule of law, de-centralization of power, an independent Judiciary system and processes of election transparency.

  • It accounts for the fundament human rights of the people.

  • It allocates power to the different arms of government.

  • It must uphold the people’s sovereignty.

  • It is written systematically.

You can read on the types of constitution here.

Dictatorship is one of the forms of government. It can exist either as:

  1. Military Dictatorship
  2. Civilian Dictatorship

In 1966, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi became the first military Head of State in Nigeria after he overthrew a democratic and constitutional government (headed by the prime minister; Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa)

The above instance is a military form of dictatorship.

A typical example of a civilian dictatorship is Adolf Hitler of Germany and Joseph Stalin of Russia and Georgia

You can read more on dictatorship here