Civic Education

Key concepts of constitutional democracy

Key Concepts of Constitutional Democracy 

Some of these key concepts are

  1. History of the people: In any good and acceptable constitutional democracy, the constitution must reflect the history of the people, the history of the people must be put into consideration.
  2. Freedom of the press: The press, radio, television, newspaper and other social media are means by which citizens express their views i.e. people are free to write and make reports on governmental issues.
  3. Convention: Constitutional democracy brings out convention through which the government follows, through the conventions skills are acquired and disseminated.
  4. Periodic election: Free and fair election is one of the major key concepts of constitutional democracy because it allows for change in government.
  5. The rights of citizens: another key is the right of citizens; their rights must be respected and protected.
  6. Supremacy of the constitution: Under the constitutional democracy, the constitution is supreme and supersedes every other consideration in a constitutional democracy.

Advantages of Constitutional Democracy

The following points below are the merits of constitutional democracy

  1. There is the rule of law; this promotes equality of persons and help to protect human rights.
  2. It also helps to encourage constitutionalism; by this means, it helps the government to rule according to the laid down rules, regulation and principle of the state and not to rule anyhow without proper guidance.
  3. There is legitimacy; constitutional democracy is regarded as legitimate because it has the full support of the people.
  4. It involves periodic elections which ‘lead in’ another government for a change.
  5. There is choice of political party i.e. there is opportunity for every for every citizens to belong to political party of their choice and select their leader.
  6. Citizenship is not dependent on adherence.

Disdvantages of Constitutional Democracy

  1. There is separation of powers; constitutional democracy brings about separation of powers among various organs of government
  2. Corruption and manipulation of election; during the time of electing new leaders through elections, there is usually corruption and manipulation by the electoral bodies and the political parties members which helps to usher in wrong leaders into power.
  3. Ignorance/ inadequate political education; Most illiterates vote ignorantly due to lack of knowledge on political education.
  4. Slow decision making; due to the fact that everybody will have to express their views and opinions on any decision the governments wants to make, it makes the decision to be very slow.
  5. Individuals claim right and obligation which most times make them to disrespect those in power.
  6. Too expensive; constitutional democracy involves so many people in carrying out its affairs, thereby becoming too expensive to run.
  7. Manipulation by few; constitutional democracy is always manipulated by some few citizens who have vocal skills and abilities in expressing views and opinions.

Test and Exercise

  1. The word supremacy of the constitution means (a) The constitution is a God (b) The constitution supersedes every other consideration (c) the constitution is not important (d) the constitution has nothing to do in a constitutional democracy. ans (b)
  2. One advantage of constitutional democracy is (a) there is separation of powers (b) decision making is slow (c) there is the rule of law (d) there can be corruption. ans (c)
  3. All of the following are advantages of constitutional democracy except (a) there is rule of law (b) there is separation of powers (c) it encourages constitutionalism (d) there is choice of political leadership. ans (b)
  4. All the following are key concept of the constitutional democracy except (a) history of the people (b) the rule of law (c) all of the above (d) freedom of the press. ans (c)
  5. One of the major demerit of constitutional democracy is ( a) the rule of law (b) decision making is slow (c) choice of political party (d) legitimacy. ans (b)

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