Virtual Kollage: The problems of Political Opposition

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The problems of Political Opposition



PROBLEMS OF THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION
Definition of political opposition
A political opposition can be defined as the party or group of parties that are not in possession of political power. In another sense, it is the largest party or group of parties after the ruling party. An example of an opposition party is the New Patriotic Party in Ghana.

PROBLEMS
It is divisive
One of the disadvantages of a political opposition is its tendency to divide the people. Naturally, once there are many parties, people will belong to opposing sides of the political divide. In Africa, where political parties are mostly fashioned along ethnic, religious and tribal lines, political oppositions tend only to divide the people.

Underutilizes the best brains of the land
Another disadvantage of a political opposition is that it may underutilize the best brains of the land. In some democracies, whoever wins the election appoints the officials of state. It so happens that some best brains of the land who do not belong to the winning party will not ne granted the opportunity to serve their nation though they have the best ability to do so.

 Non-co-operating opposition
Some political opposition parties, for political expediencies, refuse to co-operate with the ruling party for the betterment of the nation. They may resort to boycotts, demonstrations etc, to frustrate the efforts of the ruling government to formulate and implement good policies that would make the government popular.

Instability
Some opposition parties are not patient enough for their turn to come to power. They resort to undemocratic methods to unseat the ruling government. This creates instability.

Unnecessary criticism
One other disadvantage of a political opposition is that some of them just criticize the ruling government for the sake of it. They can oppose anything as long as it is proposed by the ruling government. This attitude does not promote sustained development.

Can be subversive
Some political opposition can oppose the ruling government to the point where they try to overthrow it through unorthodox means. Some even support coup attempts against the ruling government as long as it would create an opportunity for them to come to power.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. What is a political opposition? [3 marks]
    b. Highlight five problems that opposition parties can create in a democratic system. [12 marks]

2. Explain six reasons why in spite of the many advantages of political opposition, some countries try to avoid party politics. [15 marks]

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