7. Political parties & pressure groups
1. Origin of politics parties
2. Types of political parties
3. Structure of political parties
4. Party membership
5. Party organization
1. Political culture and democracy in Nigeria
2. Types of political culture
3. Content and component of political culture
1. Political participation in Nigeria
2. Forms of political participation
3. Important of political participation
4. Instigating variables
5. Benefits of political participation
6. Women & political participation
7. Election & electoral democracy
1. Democracy & system of democracy
1. Pressure groups politics
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Dept of Geography
Politics (from Greek politikos “of, for, or relating to citizens”) as a term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the corporate, academic, and religious segments of society. It consists of “social relations involving authority or power” and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.
Modern political discourse focuses on democracy and the relationship between people and politics. It is thought of as the way we “choose government officials and make decisions about public policy”.
The word politics comes from the Greek word Πολιτικά (politika), modeled on Aristotle’s “affairs of the city”, the name of his book on governing and governments, which was rendered in English mid-15 century as Latinized “Polettiques”. Thus it became “politics” in Middle English c. 1520s (see the Concise Oxford Dictionary). The singular politic first attested in English 1430 and comes from Middle French politique, in turn from Latin politicus, which is the latinisation of the Greek πολιτικός (politikos), meaning amongst others “of, for, or relating to citizens”, “civil”, “civic”, “belonging to the state in turn from πολίτης (polites), “citizen” and that from πόλις (polis), “city”.
This is a term that is associated with basic universal principles, ideals and forms.
The word authority is derived from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word authority can be used to mean power given by the state (in the form of Members of Parliament, Judges, Police Officers, etc.) or by academic knowledge of an area (someone can be an authority on a subject). The word Authority with capital A refers to the governing body upon which such authority (with lower case a) is vested; for example, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Authority in philosophy
In government, the term authority is often used interchangeably with power. However, their meanings differ: while power is defined as “the ability to influence somebody to do something that he/she would not have done”, authority refers to a claim of legitimacy, the justification and right to exercise that power. For example, while a mob has the power to punish a criminal, for example by lynching, people who believe in the rule of law consider that only a court of law has the authority to punish a criminal.
Since the emergence of social sciences, authority has been a subject of research in a variety of empirical settings: the family (parental authority), small groups (informal authority of leadership), intermediate organizations, such as schools, churches, armies, industries and bureaucracies (organizational and bureaucratic authorities) and society-wide or inclusive organizations, ranging from the most primitive tribal society to the modern nation-state and intermediate organization (political authority). The definition of authority in contemporary social science is a matter of debate. According to Michaels, in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, authority is the capacity, innate or acquired for exercising ascendancy over a group. Other scientists argue that authority is not a capacity but a relationship. It is sanctioned power, institutionalized power.
In religion, there is a tendency to act in the belief that what will result will be different than what would have happened had a subservient act (e.g. prayer, meditation, service to others, etc.) not been performed- this is the essence of exercised authority or benign/gentle domination. What one does in expectation of meeting with the approval of the divine is derived from some means of obtained faith- the expression of authority. The faith comes by being affected by the authoritative direction of the divine, doing what is authorized. Authoritative sources in religion communicate their direction through commandments and/or expressed approval of behaviour deemed to be acceptable or beneficial, with the expectation that the subject of this didactic process will use wisdom and understanding in their actions of service.
In political science, legitimacy is the popular acceptance of a governing law or régime as an authority. Whereas “authority” denotes a specific position in an established government, the term “legitimacy” denotes a system of government — wherein “government” denotes “sphere of influence”. Political legitimacy is considered a basic condition for governing, without which a government will suffer legislative deadlock(s) and collapse. In political systems where this is not the case, unpopular régimes survive because they are considered legitimate by a small, influential élite.
In Chinese political philosophy, since the historical period of the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC), the political legitimacy of a ruler and government was derived from the Mandate of Heaven, and that unjust rulers who lose said mandate, therefore lose the right to rule the people.
The Enlightenment-era British social theoretician John Locke said that political legitimacy derives from popular explicit and implicit consent: “The argument of the [Second] Treatise is that the government is not legitimate unless it is carried on with the consent of the governed.”The German political philosopher Dolf Sternberger said, “Legitimacy is the foundation of such governmental power as is exercised, both with a consciousness on the government’s part that it has a right to govern, and with some recognition by the governed of that right.”The American political sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset said that legitimacy also “involves the capacity of a political system to engender and maintain the belief that existing political institutions are the most appropriate and proper ones for the society.”The American political theorist Robert A. Dahl explained legitimacy as a reservoir; so long as the water is at a given level, political stability is maintained, if it falls below the required level, political legitimacy is endangered.
In moral philosophy, the term “legitimacy” often is positively interpreted as the normative status conferred by a governed people upon their governors’ institutions, offices, and actions, based upon the belief that their government’s actions are appropriate uses of power by a legally constituted government.
In law, “legitimacy” is distinguished from “legality” (see colour of law), to establish that a government action can be legal whilst not being legitimate, e.g. a police search without proper warrant; conversely, a government action can be legitimate without being legal, e.g. a pre-emptive war, a military junta. An example of such matters arises when legitimate institutions clash in a constitutional crisis.
Types of legitimacy
Theocracy: Egyptian divine authority, Horus as a falcon.
Theocracy: The coat of arms of the Holy See, the seat of Papal government.
Legitimacy is “a value whereby something or someone is recognized and accepted as right and proper”. In political science, legitimacy usually is understood as the popular acceptance and recognition, by the public, of the authority of a governing régime, whereby authority has political power through consent and mutual understandings, not coercion. The three types of political legitimacy are: traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal.
I. Traditional legitimacy derives from societal custom and habit that emphasize the history of the authority of tradition. Traditionalists understand this form of rule as historically accepted, hence its continuity, because it is the way society has always been. Therefore, the institutions of traditional government usually are historically continuous, as in monarchy and tribalism.
II. Charismatic legitimacy derives from the ideas and personal charisma of the leader, a man or woman whose authoritative persona charms and psychologically dominates the people of the society to agreement with the government’s régime and rule. A charismatic government usually features weak political and administrative institutions, because they derive authority from the persona of The Leader, and usually disappear without him or her in power. Yet, a government derived from charismatic legitimacy might continue if the charismatic leader has a successor.
III. Rational-legal legitimacy derives from a system of institutional procedure, wherein government institutions establish and enforce law and order in the public interest. Therefore, it is through public trust that the government will abide the law that confers rational-legal legitimacy.
Forms of legitimacy
In a theocracy, government legitimacy derives from the spiritual authority of a god or a goddess.
• In Ancient Egypt (ca. 3150 BC) the legitimacy of the dominion of a Pharaoh (god–king) was theologically established by doctrine that posited the pharaoh as the Egyptian patron god Horus, son of Osiris.
• In the Roman Catholic Church, the priesthood derives its legitimacy from a divine source; the Church doctrines establish that the papacy based upon Jesus Christ’s designation of St. Peter as head of the earthly church, thus the sanctity and legitimacy of each pope.
The political legitimacy of a civil government derives from agreement among the autonomous constituent institutions —legislative, judicial, executive — combined for the national common good; legitimate government office as a public trust, is expressed by means of public elections.Sources of legitimacy
Max Weber: societies are politically cyclical.
The German economist and sociologist Max Weber identified three sources of political legitimacy.
• Charismatic authority derived from the leader’s charisma, based upon the perception that he or she possesses supernatural attributes, e.g. a clan chieftain, a priestess, or an ayatollah.
• Traditional authority derived from tradition, wherein the governed populace accept that form of government as legitimate because of its longevity by customs, e.g. monarchy.
• Rational–legal authority derived from the popular perception that the government’s power derives from established law and custom (a political constitution), e.g. representative democracy.
Moreover, like the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes, Weber proposed that societies behave cyclically in governing themselves with different types of governmental legitimacy. That democracy was unnecessary for establishing legitimacy, a condition that can be established with codified laws, customs, and cultural principles, not by means of popular suffrage. That a society might decide to revert from the legitimate government of a rational–legal authority to the charismatic government of a leader, e.g. the Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler, Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini, and fascist Spain under General Francisco Franco.
The French political scientist Mattei Dogan’s contemporary interpretation of Max Weber’s types of political legitimacy (traditional, charismatic, legal-rational) proposes that they are conceptually insufficient to comprehend the complex relationships that constitute a legitimate political system in the twenty-first century. Moreover Prof. Dogan proposed that traditional authority and charismatic authority are obsolete as forms of contemporary government, e.g. the Islamic Republic of Iran (est. 1979) rule by means of the priestly Koranic interpretations by the Ayatollah Khomeini. That traditional authority has disappeared in the Middle East; that the rule-proving exceptions are Islamic Iran and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the third Weber type of political legitimacy, rational–legal authority exists in so many permutations no longer allows it to be limited as a type of legitimate authority.
Forms of legitimate government
In determining the political legitimacy of a system of rule and government, the term proper — political legitimacy — is philosophically an essentially contested concept that facilitates understanding the different applications and interpretations of abstract, qualitative, and evaluative concepts such as “Art”, “social justice”, et cetera, as applied in aesthetics, political philosophy, the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of religion. Therefore, in defining the political legitimacy of a system of government and rule, the term “essentially contested concept” indicates that a key term (communism, democracy, constitutionalism, etc.) has different meanings within a given political argument. Hence, the intellectually restrictive politics of dogmatism (“My answer is right, and all others are wrong”), scepticism (“All answers are equally true or [false]; everyone has a right to his own truth”), and eclecticism (“Each meaning gives a partial view, so the more meanings the better”) are inappropriate philosophic stances for managing a political term that has more than one meaning. Communism — The legitimacy of a Communist state derives from having won a civil war, a revolution, or from having won an election; thus, the actions of the Communist government are legitimate, authorised by the people. In the early twentieth century, Communist parties based the arguments supporting the legitimacy of their rule and government upon the scientific nature of Marxism.
• Constitutionalism — The modern political concept of constitutionalism establishes the law as supreme over the private will, by integrating nationalism, democracy, and limited government. The political legitimacy of constitutionalism derives from popular belief and acceptance that the actions of the government are legitimate because they abide the law codified in the political constitution. The political scientist Carl Joachim Friedrich (1901–84) said that in dividing political power among the organs of government, constitutional law effectively restrains the actions of the government.
• Democracy — In a democracy, government legitimacy derives from the popular perception that the elected government abides democratic principles in governing, and thus is legally accountable to its people.
• Fascism — In the 1920s and the 1930s, Fascism based its political legitimacy upon the arguments of traditional authority; respectively, the German National Socialists and the Italian Fascists claimed that the political legitimacy of their right to rule derived from philosophically denying the (popular) political legitimacy of elected liberal democratic governments.
During the Weimar Republic (1918–33), the political philosopher Carl Schmitt (1888–1985), whose legal work as the “Crown Jurist of the Third Reich” promoted fascism and deconstructed liberal democracy, addressed the matter in Legalität und Legitimität (Legality and Legitimacy, 1932) an anti-democratic polemic treatise that asked: How can parliamentary government make for law and legality, when a 49 per cent minority accepts as politically legitimate the political will of a 51 per cent majority?
• Monarchy — In a monarchy, the divine right of kings establishes the political legitimacy of the rule of the Monarch (King or Queen); legitimacy also derives from the popular perception (tradition and custom) and acceptance of him or her as the rightful ruler of nation and country. Contemporarily, such divine-right legitimacy is manifest in the absolute monarchy of the House of Saud (est. 1744), a royal family who have ruled and governed Saudi Arabia since the 18th century.
Constitutional monarchy is a variant form, of monarchic political legitimacy, which combines traditional authority and legal–rational authority, by which the monarch maintains nationalist unity (one people) and democratic administration (a political constitution).
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized (Referred : More to govern than control).Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include “regime type” and “system of government”.
States are served by a continuous succession of different governments. Each successive government is composed of a body of individuals who control and exercise control over political decision-making. Their function is to enforce laws, legislate new ones, and arbitrate conflicts. In some societies, this group is often a self-perpetuating or hereditary class. In other societies, such as democracies, the political roles remain, but there is frequent turnover of the people actually filling the positions.
The word government is derived from the Latin infinitive gubernare, meaning “to govern” or “to manage”. In parliamentary systems, the word “government” is used to refer to what in presidential systems would be the executive branch. In parliamentary systems, the government is composed of the prime minister and the cabinet. In other cases, “government” refers to executive, legislative, judicial, bureaucratic, and possibly also devolved powers.
In most Western societies, there is a clear distinction between a government and the state. Public disapproval of a particular government (expressed, for example, by not re-electing an incumbent) does not necessarily represent disapproval of the state itself (i.e. of the particular framework of government). However, in some totalitarian regimes, there is not a clear distinction between the regime and the state. In fact, leaders in such regimes often attempt to deliberately blur the lines between the two, in order to conflate their interests with those of the polity.
In political science, it has long been a goal to create a typology or taxonomy of polities, as typologies of political systems are not obvious. It is especially important in the political science fields of comparative politics and international relations.
On the surface, identifying a form of government appears to be easy, as all governments have an official form. The United States is a federal republic, while the former Soviet Union was a socialist republic. However self-identification is not objective, and as Kopstein and Lichbach argue, defining regimes can be tricky. For example, elections are a defining characteristic of a democracy, but in practice elections in the former Soviet Union were not “free and fair” and took place in a single party state. Thus in many practical classifications it would not be considered democratic.
Another complication is that a huge number of political systems originate as socio-economic movements and are then carried into governments by specific parties naming themselves after those movements. Experience with those movements in power, and the strong ties they may have to particular forms of government, can cause them to be considered as forms of government in themselves.
States by their systems of government.
presidential republics, full presidential system
presidential republics, parliament supervising an executive presidency
presidential republics, semi-presidential system
parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power
constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power, often alongside a weak parliament
states whose constitutions grant only a single party the right to govern
states where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended
Countries highlighted in blue are designated “electoral democracies” in Freedom House’s 2010 survey “Freedom in the World”. Freedom House considers democracy in practice, not merely official claims.
A world map distinguishing countries of the world as monarchies (red) from other forms of government (blue). Many monarchies are considered electoral democracies because the monarch is largely ritual; in other cases the monarch is the only powerful political authority.
Forms of government
• Adhocracy – government based on type of organization that operates in opposite fashion to a bureaucracy.
• Authoritarian – Authoritarian governments are characterized by an emphasis on the authority of the state in a republic or union. It is a political system controlled by unelected rulers who usually permit some degree of individual freedom.
• Anarchism – Sometimes said to be non-governance; it is a structure which strives for non-hierarchical voluntary associations among agents.
• Band Society – government based on small (usually family) unit with a semi-informal hierarchy, with strongest (either physical strength or strength of character) as leader. Very much like a pack seen in other animals, such as wolves.
• Chiefdom (Tribal) – government based on small complex society of varying degrees of centralization that is led by an individual known as a chief.
• Constitutional monarchy – A government that has a monarch, but one whose powers are limited by law or by a formal constitution, such as the United Kingdom
• Constitutional republic – A government whose powers are limited by law or a formal constitution, and chosen by a vote amongst at least some sections of the populace (Ancient Sparta was in its own terms a republic, though most inhabitants were disenfranchised; The early United States was a republic, but the large numbers of African Americans and women did not have the vote). Republics which exclude sections of the populace from participation will typically claim to represent all citizens (by defining people without the vote as “non-citizens”).
• Democracy – Rule by a government chosen by election where most of the populace are enfranchised. The key distinction between a democracy and other forms of constitutional government is usually taken to be that the right to vote is not limited by a person’s wealth or race (the main qualification for enfranchisement is usually having reached a certain age). A Democratic government is, therefore, one supported (at least at the time of the election) by a majority of the populace (provided the election was held fairly). A “majority” may be defined in different ways. There are many “power-sharing” (usually in countries where people mainly identify themselves by race or religion) or “electoral-college” or “constituency” systems where the government is not chosen by a simple one-vote-per-person headcount.
• Dictatorship – Rule by an individual who has full power over the country. The term may refer to a system where the dictator came to power, and holds it, purely by force – but it also includes systems where the dictator first came to power legitimately but then was able to amend the constitution so as to, in effect, gather all power for themselves.
• Emirate – similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a Muslim state); the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority.
• Geniocracy – government ruled by creativity, innovation, intelligence and wisdom.
• Kratocracy – government ruled by those strong enough to seize power through physical force or political cunning.
• Kritocracy – government ruled by judges.
• Matriarchy – Rule by which females (especially mothers) have the central roles of political leadership.
• Meritocracy – Rule by a group selected on the basis of their ability.
• Monarchy – Rule by an individual who has inherited the role and expects to bequeath it to their heir.
• Nomocracy – Rule according to higher law. That is, a government under the sovereignty of rational laws and civic right as opposed to one under theocratic systems of government . In a nomocracy, ultimate and final authority (sovereignty) exists in the law.
• Oligarchy – Rule by a small group of people who share similar interests or family relations.
• Patriarchy – Rule by which males act as the primary political authority, and where fathers hold authority over women, children, and property.
• Plutocracy – A government composed of the wealthy class. Any of the forms of government listed here can be plutocracy. For instance, if all of the voted representatives in a republic are wealthy, then it is a republic and a plutocracy.
• Republic – is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch. Montesquieu included both democracies, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies or oligarchies, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government.
• Stratocracy – form of military government in which the state and the military are traditionally the same thing. (Not to be confused with “militarism” or “military dictatorship”.)
• Technocracy – government ruled by doctors, engineers, scientists, professionals and other technical experts.
• Theocracy – Rule by a religious elite.
• Timocracy – government ruled by honorable citizens and property owners.
• Totalitarian – Totalitarian governments regulate nearly every aspect of public and private life.
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitute one’s goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare worldview), as in several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a “received consciousness” or product of socialization). The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer either change in society, or adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things.
The term “ideology” was born in the highly controversial philosophical and political debates and fights of the French Revolution and acquired several other meanings from the early days of the First French Empire to the present. The word was coined by Destutt de Tracy in 1796, assembling the parts idea (near to the Lockean sense) and -logy. He used it to refer to one aspect of his “science of ideas” (to the study itself, not the subject of the study). He separated three aspects, namely: ideology, general grammar, and logic, considering respectively the subject, the means, and the reason of this science. He argues that among these aspects ideology is the most generic term, because the science of ideas also contains the study of their expression and deduction.
According to Karl Mannheim’s historical reconstruction of the shifts in the meaning of ideology, the modern meaning of the word was born when Napoleon Bonaparte (as a politician) used it in an abusive way against “the ideologues” (a group which included Cabanis, Condorcet, Constant, Daunou, Say, Madame de Staël, and Tracy), to express the pettiness of his (liberal republican) political opponents.
Perhaps the most accessible source for the near-original meaning of ideology is Hippolyte Taine’s work on the Ancien Regime (the first volume of “Origins of Contemporary France”). He describes ideology as rather like teaching philosophy by the Socratic method, but without extending the vocabulary beyond what the general reader already possessed, and without the examples from observation that practical science would require. Taine identifies it not just with Destutt De Tracy, but also with his milieu, and includes Condillac as one of its precursors. (Tracy read the works of Locke and Condillac while he was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror.)
The word “ideology” was coined long before the Russians coined “intelligentsia”, or before the adjective “intellectual” referred to a sort of person (see substantive), i.e. an intellectual. Thus these words were not around when the hard-headed, driven Napoleon Bonaparte took the word “ideologues” to ridicule his intellectual opponents. Gradually, however, the term “ideology” has dropped some of its pejorative sting, and has become a neutral term in the analysis of differing political opinions and views of social groups. While Karl Marx situated the term within class struggle and domination, others believed it was a necessary part of institutional functioning and social integration.
7. POLITICAL PARTIES & PRESSURE GROUPS
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office.  Parties participate in electoral campaigns and educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests.
An advocacy group (pressure group) is a group or an organization which tries to influence the government but does not hold power in the government. A single-issue group may form in response to a particular issue area sometimes in response to a single event or threat. In some cases initiatives initially championed by advocacy groups later become institutionalized as important elements of civic life (for example universal education or regulation of doctors. Groups representing broad interests of a group may be formed with the purpose of benefiting the group over an expended period of time and in many ways, example as Consumer organizations, Professional associations, Trade associations and Trade unions.
Advocacy groups (also pressure groups, lobby groups and some interest groups and special interest groups) use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems. Groups vary considerably in size, influence and motive; some have wide ranging long term social purposes, others are focused and are a response to an immediate issue or concern.
Motives for action may be based on a shared political, faith, moral or commercial position. Groups use varied methods to try to achieve their aims including lobbying, media campaigns, publicity stunts, polls, research and policy briefings. Some groups are supported by powerful business or political interests and exert considerable influence on the political process, others have few such resources.
Some have developed into important social, political institutions or social movements. Some powerful Lobby groups have been accused of manipulating the democratic system for narrow commercial gain and in some instances have been found guilty of corruption, fraud, bribery and other serious crimes; lobbying has become increasingly regulated as a result. Some groups, generally ones with less financial resources, may use direct action and civil disobedience and in some cases are accused of being a threat to the social order or ‘domestic extremists’. Research is beginning to explore how advocacy groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.
1. Origin of politics parties
The emergence and development of political parties are associated with the division of society into classes and with the history of the class struggle, especially the struggle for political power. “In a society based upon class divisions, the struggle between the hostile classes is bound, at a certain stage of its development, to become a political struggle. The most purposeful, most comprehensive and specific expression of the political struggle of classes is the struggle of parties” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 12, p. 137).
In contrast to the spontaneous process of class formation, the emergence of political parties is possible only when the ideologists of a particular class become aware of its fundamental common interests and express them in the form of definite conceptions and political programs. The political party educates and organizes the class or social group and lends an organized, purposeful character to its actions. Furthermore, the political party is the repository of a particular ideology. To a considerable degree, ideology determines the leading principles of the party’s policies, organizational structure, and practical activity, which are usually specified in the party’s programs and rules. As Lenin emphasized: “To see what is what in the fight between the parties, one must not take words at their face value but must study the actual history of the parties, must study not so much what they say about themselves as their deeds, the way in which they go about solving various political problems, and their behavior in matters affecting the vital interests of the various classes of society—landlords, capitalists, peasants, workers, etc.” (ibid., vol. 21, p. 276).
The demarcation of political parties, which corresponds to the arrangement of the basic class forces of society, can only take place under the conditions of mature capitalism. In slaveholding and feudal societies political groupings organized according to social estate expressed the interests of various strata of the ruling classes. Because they were economically fragmented and spiritually oppressed, the toiling classes could not form independent political parties during this historical period. To a certain degree, their interests were expressed by progressive political groupings of the propertied class (the Jacobins, for example), which were interested in obtaining popular support in the struggle against reactionary forces. Under mid-19th-century capitalism, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie began to use political parties in their struggle for political dominance. The party system became an organic component of the mechanism of bourgeois governmental power. In the final analysis, the character of this system depends on the balance of class forces, which predetermines the forms and methods by which the bourgeoisie implements its dictatorship.
2. Types of political parties
The French political scientist Maurice Duverger drew a distinction between cadre parties and mass parties. Cadre parties were political elites that were concerned with contesting elections and restricted the influence of outsiders, who were only required to assist in election campaigns. Mass parties tried to recruit new members who were a source of party income and were often expected to spread party ideology as well as assist in elections. Socialist parties are examples of mass parties, while the British Conservative Party and the German Christian Democratic Union are examples of hybrid parties. In the United States, where both major parties were cadre parties, the introduction of primaries and other reforms has transformed them so that power is held by activists who compete over influence and nomination of candidates.
Klaus von Beyme categorized European parties into nine families, which described most parties. He was able to arrange seven of them from left to right: communist, socialist, green, liberal, Christian democratic, conservative and libertarian. The position of two other types, agrarian and regional/ethnic parties varied. Another category he failed to mention are Islamic political parties, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir.
In a nonpartisan system, no official political parties exist, sometimes reflecting legal restrictions on political parties. In nonpartisan elections, each candidate is eligible for office on his or her own merits. In nonpartisan legislatures, there are no typically formal party alignments within the legislature. The administration of George Washington and the first few sessions of the United States Congress were nonpartisan. Washington also warned against political parties during his Farewell Address. In the United States, the unicameral legislature of Nebraska is nonpartisan. In Canada, the territorial legislatures of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are nonpartisan. In New Zealand, Tokelau has a nonpartisan parliament. Many city and county governments are nonpartisan. Nonpartisan elections and modes of governance are common outside of state institutions. Unless there are legal prohibitions against political parties, factions within nonpartisan systems often evolve into political parties.
Single dominant party
In single-party systems, one political party is legally allowed to hold effective power. Although minor parties may sometimes be allowed, they are legally required to accept the leadership of the dominant party. This party may not always be identical to the government, although sometimes positions within the party may in fact be more important than positions within the government. China is an example; others can be found in Fascist states, such as Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1945. The single-party system is thus usually equated with dictatorships and tyranny.
In dominant-party systems, opposition parties are allowed, and there may be even a deeply established democratic tradition, but other parties are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. Sometimes, political, social and economic circumstances, and public opinion are the reason for others parties’ failure. Sometimes, typically in countries with less of an established democratic tradition, it is possible the dominant party will remain in power by using patronage and sometimes by voting fraud. In the latter case, the definition between Dominant and single-party system becomes rather blurred. Examples of dominant party systems include the People’s Action Party in Singapore, the African National Congress in South Africa, the Human Rights Protection Party in Samoa, and the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro in Montenegro. One party dominant systems also existed in Mexico with the Institutional Revolutionary Party until the 1990s, in the southern United States with the Democratic Party from the late 19th century until the 1970s, in Indonesia with the Golongan Karya (Party of the Functional Groups) from the early 1970s until 1998, and in Japan with the Liberal Democratic Party until 2009.
Two political parties
Two-party systems are states such as Jamaica, and Ghana in which there are two political parties dominant to such an extent that electoral success under the banner of any other party is almost impossible. One right wing coalition party and one left wing coalition party is the most common ideological breakdown in such a system but in two-party states political parties are traditionally catch all parties which are ideologically broad and inclusive.
The United States is widely considered a two-party system. Since the birth of the republic a conservative (such as the Republican Party) and liberal (such as the Democratic Party) party have usually been the status quo within American politics, with some exception. Third parties often receive little support and are not often the victors in many races. Despite this, there have been several examples of third parties siphoning votes from major parties that were expected to win (such as Theodore Roosevelt in the election of 1912 and Ross Perot in the election of 1992).
The UK political system, while technically a multi-party system, has functioned generally as a two-party (sometimes called a “two-and-a-half party) system; since the 1920s the two largest political parties have been the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. Before the Labour Party rose in British politics the Liberal Party was the other major political party along with the Conservatives. Though coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party to deliver a working majority in Parliament.(A plurality voting system usually leads to a two-party system, a relationship described by Maurice Duverger and known as Duverger’s Law.) However, the 2010 General Election resulted in a coalition government led by the Conservative Party and including the Liberal Democrats. There are also numerous other parties that hold or have held a number of seats in Parliament.
Multiple political parties
Multi-party systems are systems in which more than two parties are represented and elected to public office.
Australia, Canada, Pakistan, India, Ireland, United Kingdom and Norway are examples of countries with two strong parties and additional smaller parties that have also obtained representation. The smaller or “third” parties may form a part of a coalition government together with one of the larger parties or act independently from the other dominant parties.
More commonly, in cases where there are three or more parties, no one party is likely to gain power alone, and parties work with each other to form coalition governments. This has been an emerging trend in the politics of the Republic of Ireland since the 1980s and is almost always the case in Germany on national and state level, and in most constituencies at the communal level. Furthermore since the forming of the Republic of Iceland there has never been a government not led by a coalition (usually of the Independence Party and one other often the Social Democratic Alliance. Political change is often easier with a coalition government than in one-party or two-party dominant systems.
3. Structure of political parties
Political structure is a term frequently used in political science.
The term political structure, used in a general sense, refers to institutions or groups and their relations to each other, their patterns of interaction within political systems and to political regulations, laws and the norms present in political systems in such a way that they constitute the political landscape of the political entity. In the social domain its counterpart is Social structure.
4. Party membership
This can be describe simply as the affiliate where a candidates or electorate (citizens) belongs.
5. Party organization
Party organization in Western democracies was originally characterized by two principal types. Cadre parties developed as an expression of a small elite group. In the nineteenth century these were generally parties made up of social notables and their individual supporters. They were also commonly parliamentary in their origins. As social leaders who once assumed political power they simply now organized to garner the vote of expanding electorates. Such cadre powers were generally loosely organized, had low memberships, and were not ideologically programmatic. Most conservative and right of centre parties evolved in this manner. In contrast, mass parties grew out of the development of late nineteenth-century working-class protest and the political ambitions of trade unions, friendly societies, and cooperative movements. They were by definition extra-parliamentary parties, deriving from social groups and their quest for political power. They evolved more formal organization, full-time officials, a mass membership, and a systematic political programme that was accountable to the membership. Such parties tended to be social democratic or democratic socialist and were much more subject to internal party democracy.
The development of a broadened franchise, nevertheless, imposed similar pressures on cadre and mass parties to develop professional organization and a large membership whilst being pragmatic to the needs of winning elections. Otto Kirchheimer’s catch-all model of party organization suggests that whilst historical origins have continued to give a distinctive flavour to parties, the logic of party competition has increasingly made them conform to common characteristics. Principally these have included: de-emphasizing the original social base so as to be able to appeal to a broader electorate; de-emphasizing a particular ideology so as to be able to respond to electoral views on short-term issues; strengthening central party leadership and hierarchic control to provide a clear electoral message; sacrificing internal party democracy so as to be able to present a favourable image of a united party; broadening social group links to enhance party funding opportunities; and a move from membership campaigning to leadership campaigning through the media.
Analysis by R. S. Katz and P. Mair identifies the further development of the cartel party as an ideal type towards which many established parties in Western democracies are moving. This confirms the common development of catch-all characteristics but adds that established parties take extra steps to preserve their position in volatile electoral market-places. This focuses on state funding of parties, a measure that enhances party autonomy from particular social group funding and the specific demands that might follow. Party leaderships thus become freer to tailor messages to the broader electoral middle ground. Equally, however, in that funding is provided in relation to existing representation it gives established parties a major resource advantage over newcomers.
In the United States, the Republican and Democrat parties are loosely organized, without the permanent structures normally found in European parties. In Eastern Europe differing organizational forms appear to result from the incidence of successor communist parties, the emergence of new state-organized parties, and a mass of tiny parties working in an electoral landscape where democracy is weakly rooted. In one-party states or states dominated by one party, organization remains the most closely related to the assumed structure of state power. The failed communist parties of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were organized around the principle of democratic centralism.
1. Political culture and democracy in Nigeria
The term political culture was brought into political science to promote the American political system. The concept was used by Gabriel Almond in late 50s, and outlined in The Civic Culture (1963, Almond & Verba), but was soon opposed by two European political scientists, Gerhard Lehmbruch and Arend Lijphart. Lehmbruch analysed politics in Switzerland and Austria and Lijphart analysed politics in Netherlands. Both argued that there are political systems that are more stable than the one in the USA. Political culture is the traditional orientation of the citizens of a nation toward politics, affecting their perceptions of political legitimacy.
2. Types of political culture
According to their level and type of political participation and the nature of people’s attitudes toward politics, Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba outlined three pure types of political culture:
• Parochial – Where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the state. Distant and unaware of political phenomena. He has neither knowledge or interest in politics. In general congruent with a traditional political structure.
• Subject – Where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its decisions with little scope for dissent. The individual is aware of politics, its actors and institutions. It is affectively oriented towards politics, yet he is on the “downward flow” side of the politics. In general congruent with a centralized authoritarian structure.
• Participant – Citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are affected by it. The individual is oriented toward the system as a whole, to both the political and administrative structures and processes (to both the input and output aspects). In general congruent with a democratic political structure.
These three ‘pure’ types of political culture can combine to create the ‘civic culture’, which mixes the best elements of each.
By Arend Lijphart, there are different classifications of political culture:
• Political culture of masses
• Political culture of the elite(s)
2. classification (of political culture of the elites):
Lijphart also classified structure of the society:
3. Content and component of political culture
the components of political culture are religions , behaviour, Norms and beliefs. They form an important part of our society.
1. Political participation in Nigeria
This refers to different mechanisms for the citizens of Nigeria to express opinions – and ideally exert influence through the electoral process.
Political Participation in social science refers to different mechanisms for the public to express opinions – and ideally exert influence – regarding political, economic, management or other social decisions. Participatory decision making can take place along any realm of human social activity, including economic (i.e. participatory economics), political (i.e. participatory democracy or parpolity), management (i.e. participatory management), cultural (i.e. polyculturalism) or familial (i.e. feminism).
For well-informed participation to occur, it is argued that some version of transparency, e.g. radical transparency, is necessary, but not sufficient. It has also been argued that those most affected by a decision should have the most say while those that are least affected should have the least say in a topic.
2. Forms of political participation
There are various forms of political participation and their adoption depends on the political culture of the country in question.
Sherry Arnstein discusses eight types of participation in A Ladder of Citizen Participation (1969). Often termed as “Arnstein’s ladder”, these are broadly categorized as:
• Citizen Power: Citizen Control, Delegated Power, Partnership.
• Tokenism: Placation, Consultation, Informing.
• Nonparticipation: Therapy, Manipulation.
She defines citizen participation as the redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens, presently excluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberately included in the future.
Archon Fung presents another classification of participation based on three key questions: Who is allowed to participate, and are they representative of the population? What is the method of communication or decision-making? And how much influence or authority is granted to the participation?
Other “ladders” of participation have been presented by D.M. Connor,Wiedemann and Femers, A. Dorcey et al., Jules N. Pretty and E.M. Rocha.
Specific participation activities
• Town hall meeting
• Advisory committee
• Citizens’ jury
• Opinion poll
• Participatory design
3. Important of political participation
The key importance of political participation is that it allows for all hands to be on deck in order to take part in the electoral processes in the country.
4. Instigating variables
Instigating variables or called The need for cognition, (NFC) in psychology, is a personality variable reflecting the extent to which people engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activities.
An individual’s innate need-for-cognition, a concept defined as “a need to structure relevant situations in meaningful, integrated ways” and “a need to understand and make reasonable the experiential world” by Cohen, Stotland and Wolfe (1955, p.291).
Some individuals have a high need for cognition, where they enjoy the effortful engagement of arguments, the evaluation of ideas, and the analysis of problems and their solutions. These individuals by their very nature are more likely to engage in high elaboration. Other individuals will, by their very nature, not be motivated to engage in effortful, thoughtful evaluation and analysis of ideas. These individuals will be more likely to process the information heuristically, that is, with low elaboration. (Dole and Sinatra, 1998, p.117)
5. Benefits of political participation
These can be refers to as gains a member derive from actively participating in political matters. They may include the right to be voted for, via for political office and be aware of events happening in the country.
6. Women & political participation
These can be refers to as gains a women derive from actively participating in political matters. They may include the right to be voted for, via for political office and be aware of events happening in the country.
7. Election & electoral democracy
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.
The universal use of elections as a tool for selecting representatives in modern democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens. As the Elections were considered an oligarchic institution and most political offices were filled using sortition, also known as allotment, by which officeholders were chosen by lot.
Electoral reform describes the process of introducing fair electoral systems where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing systems. Psephology is the study of results and other statistics relating to elections (especially with a view to predicting future results).
To elect means “to choose or make a decision” and so sometimes other forms of ballot such as referendums are referred to as elections, especially in the United States.
Electoral systems are the detailed constitutional arrangements and voting systems that convert the vote into political decision. The first step is to tally the votes, for which various vote counting systems and ballot types are used. Voting systems then determine the result on the basis of the tally. Most systems can be categorized as either proportional or majoritarian. Among the former are party-list proportional representation and additional member system. Among the latter are First Past the Post (FPP) (relative majority) and absolute majority. Many countries have growing electoral reform movements, which advocate systems such as approval voting, single transferable vote, instant runoff voting or a Condorcet method; these methods are also gaining popularity for lesser elections in some countries where more important elections still use more traditional counting methods.
While openness and accountability are usually considered cornerstones of a democratic system, the act of casting a vote and the content of a voter’s ballot are usually an important exception. The secret ballot is a relatively modern development, but it is now considered crucial in most free and fair elections, as it limits the effectiveness of intimidation.
1. Democracy & system of democracy
Democracy is an egalitarian form of government in which all the citizens of a nation together determine public policy, the laws and the actions of their state, requiring that all citizens (meeting certain qualifications) have an equal opportunity to express their opinion. In practise, “democracy” is the extent to which a given system approximates this ideal, and a given political system is referred to as “a democracy” if it allows a certain approximation to ideal democracy. Although no country has ever granted all its citizens (i.e. including minors) the vote, most countries today hold regular elections based on egalitarian principles, at least in theory.
The most common system that is deemed “democratic” in the modern world is parliamentary democracy in which the voting public takes part in elections and chooses politicians to represent them in a Legislative Assembly. The members of the assembly then make decisions with a majority vote. A purer form is direct democracy in which the voting public makes direct decisions or participates directly in the political process. Elements of direct democracy exist on a local level and on exceptions on national level in many countries, though these systems coexist with representative assemblies.
The term comes from the Greek word δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) “rule of the people”, which was coined from δῆμος (dēmos) “people” and κράτος (kratos) “power”, in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC.Other cultures since Greece have significantly contributed to the evolution of democracy such as Ancient Rome, Europe, and North and South America. The concept of representative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed during the European Middle Ages and the Age of Enlightenment and in the American and French Revolutions. The right to vote has been expanded in many jurisdictions over time from relatively narrow groups (such as wealthy men of a particular ethnic group), with New Zealand the first nation to grant universal suffrage for all its citizens in 1893.
Elements considered essential to democracy include freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, so that citizens are adequately informed and able to vote according to their own best interests as they see them. The term “democracy” is often used as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government.
Democracy is often confused with the republic form of government. In some definitions of “republic,” a republic is a form of democracy. Other definitions make “republic” a separate, unrelated term.
Democracy has taken a number of forms, both in theory and practice. Some varieties of democracy provide better representation and more freedom for their citizens than others. However, if any democracy is not structured so as to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or any branch of government from altering the separation of powers in its own favor, then a branch of the system can accumulate too much power and destroy the democracy. Representative Democracy, Consensus Democracy, and Deliberative Democracy are all major examples of attempts at a form of government that is both practical and responsive to the needs and desires of citizens.
Description World map showing the 2008 (based in 2007 data) countries considered “electoral democracies” (in blue), according to American organization Freedom House. Reference: Freedom in the World 2010
1. Pressure groups politics;
This can be refers to the antics used by various pressure groups inorder to be heard or exert pressure on the government so as to listen to their views.
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