Government

What is Democracy? Definitions of Democracy

len Alfred Ajibola - 28th June, 2022 @ 12:06 PM

Topics in Government

Political power: Sources of political power Concept of power in government Functions of the executive arm of 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 Functions of the 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


Academic Questions in Government

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following is not a function of government?

  • A. Government provides all the jobs in the country they govern

  • B. Government empowers the less privilege and the physically challenged

  • C. Government provides a support system for the aged

  • D. Government provides infrastructure for her citizens

  • E. Government maintains external relations with other countries

  • F. Government generates revenue for the country they govern

In government, a type of one-party system whereby a single party is officially and legally recognized in a country or state is termed a _____.

  • A. Hegemonic Party

  • B. Pre-Dominant Party

  • C. Dominant Party

  • D. True Single-State

  • E. Unique-Ordered State

  • F. State-Exclusive Party

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

  • A. There is an existence of several parties differing in principles and fundamentals.

  • B. The political parties are legally recognized.

  • C. It is democratic in nature.

  • D. Among the various parties, only one dominates the political landscape.

  • E. Some of the opposition parties can become politically insignificant.

  • F. It promotes the coalition of governments.

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

  • A. True

  • B. False

On February 25, 2023; Nigeria as a country had its presidential election. The party system involved in this election is the _____.

  • A. Zero Party System

  • B. One-Party System

  • C. Two-Party System

  • D. Multi-Party System

  • E. APC, PDP and LP Party System

  • F. Coalition Party System

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

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

  • A. Direct

  • B. Indirect

  • C. Constitutional

  • D. Islamic

  • E. Authoritarian

  • F. Participatory



What is Democracy?

Democracy is considered as one of the systems, forms or types of government. It focuses more on the people (citizens) of a nation or state. The practice of democracy provides an opportunity for each citizen to vote and be voted for, with regards to national and political offices within the state where it is practiced.

The term 'democracy' can be expressed in a variety of ways. Below are some definitions:


  • Democracy is defined as the government by the people in whom ultimate and supreme power lies; and is exercised through their vote in a free and fair electoral system.

  • Democracy may also be defined as a government formed by the consent of the governed. In this definition, the governed refers to those whom the leaders of a nation serve. Simply put, the people making up the democratized state of nation refers to the governed.


Democracy is often considered as the best form of government because it allows the people to choose and perhaps reject their leaders. Rejection of leaders in democracy comes into context when such leaders no longer serve the interest of the people who voted them in. In this regard, such leaders may become impeached by the legislative arm of government and can subsequently face trial at a court of competent jurisdiction. Similarly, we have seen the resignation of leaders who had failed the people in a democratized society.

You can read on failed marriages and factors that causes it here.


It is noteworthy to state that democracy assures the citizens of some basic rights that no one can take away from them. These rights are contained in the nation's constitution.

Please read on the fundamental human rights here.


Democracy can take a variety of instance depending on the nation’s geopolitical terrain, ideology or history. For this reason, we have different types (or forms) of democracy. These are:

  1. Direct Democracy

  2. Representative Democracy

  3. Authoritarian Democracy

  4. Constitutional Democracy

  5. Participatory Democracy

  6. Islamic Democracy

  7. Please read a detailed explanation on the types of democracy here.


In order to properly understand the concept of democracy, a knowledge on the characteristics of democracy is very important. Below is a summary of the characteristics of a democratized society:

  1. There is constitutional supremacy.
    Please read on the constitution here.

  2. The rule of majority is practiced.

  3. Freedom of expression.

  4. There is political equality among the people.
    Please read on gender equality here.

  5. Separation of power among the arms of government.
    Please read on the arms of government here.

  6. Popular sovereignty dominates the land.
    You can read on the sovereignty of God here.

  7. There is an establishment of the multi-party system.
    Please read on multi -party system here.

  8. Presence of the rule of law in a democratized nation.

  9. Respect for human rights.

  10. Please the detailed explanations on the characteristics of democracy here.


As stated earlier, democracy is considered as one of the various forms (or types) of government. Having a knowledge on other forms of government is quite important. They are listed below:


Examples of countries practicing democracy include Nigeria, United States of America, India, South Africa and France.

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Amazing facts in Government

The shortest war ever lasted for just 38 minutes. This is the Anglo-Zanzibar War in 1896

174 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement on Earth Day in 2016 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. This agreement presents the largest number of countries ever to come together to sign anything on a single day. The agreement aims to combat climate change, accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed to strengthen the global climate effort

United States of America is comprised of fifty states and Washington D.C.

The letter 'q' is not present in any of the American states

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

Ecclesiocracy is a form of government whereby religious leaders are recognized as the first citizens of a state.

The religious leaders in ecclesiocracy do not proclaim themselves as a direct instrument of divine revelation concerning laws governing the society.

A typical example of ecclesiocracy is seen in Vatican City where the pope presides as the leader of the state. However, the pope does not claim to receive direct revelation from God concerning civil laws.

The grand Ayatollah of Iran (Ali Khamenei) and president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir are also considered as instances of leaders in ecclesiocracy.

It is worthy of note to state that the laws and rules governing the land in ecclesiocracy are based on religious beliefs, thus making it somewhat related to theocracy.

One of the duties of the government is to make laws that govern the society. Without laws, some of the rich may oppress the poor. Similarly, some of the highly placed in the society may end up oppressing the weak without being brought to justice.

The absence of government in a society, country, nation, state or community is referred to as anarchy.

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.

Please read on the forms of government here

Below are some of the functions of government:

  • It is the role of the government to protect and defend the fundamental human rights of her citizens.

  • The government maintains law and order through the law enforcement agencies. These will include the police, customs officers and other local securities.

  • It is the duty of the government to generate revenue. This can be achieved through foreign trade.

  • It is the responsibility of the government to maintain external relations with other countries. For this reason, the president may visit other countries for business and bilateral trade purposes. Similarly, other presidents may visit your country in this regard.

  • Please read on the functions of government here

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