Virtual Kollage: The functions of election

Posted by / Wednesday, 30 November 2016 / No comments

The functions of election



THE FUNCTIONS OF ELECTION
Definition
An election is defined as the process by which qualified voters are given the chance to vote for their preferred candidates to occupy leadership positions in the government of the day.

FUNCTIONS
Selection of leaders
One of the functions of an election is to help in the selection of leaders to run the affairs of the state for the constitutionally determined period. In an election, there are several competing candidates vying for the same position. The voters are required to look through those offering themselves and choose from the lot.

Legitimizes the government of the day
At elections, the electorates are expected to vote to choose a winner. Once the final results are widely accepted and declared it makes the government that is put in place legitimate. This is unlike a government that comes to power through the barrel of the gun which is illegitimate.

Ensures a peaceful change of government
In many democratic systems, elections are held every four or five years and winners declared to form a government. When a ruling party loses an election, another party must form the new government so elections ensure a peaceful change of government.

Ensures accountability
Elections make governments responsible and accountable to the people. The government of the day knows it has to account to the people for their stewardship over the four or so previous years. Since it is possible for the government to lose the election, they make sure they work in the interest of the people.

Determines how acceptable a government is
Another function of an election is that it helps to measure how acceptable the government of the day is. If the government loses the election, it shows the people do not want that particular party. If the government wins, then it shows how popular the government it.

Allows for political education
When it is time for an election, the various parties go out to campaign so that the electorates would vote for them. In this vein, they help to educate the people and ensure that they are politically educated.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. What is an election? [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five ways in which elections are important to a nation. [10 marks] 

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