Virtual Kollage: How citizens participate in the political process of their country

Posted by / Sunday, 25 December 2016 / No comments

How citizens participate in the political process of their country




HOW CITIZENS PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS OF THEIR COUNTRY
Definition of political participation
Political participation can be defined as the voluntary activities of the citizens of a country in selecting rulers to formulate and implement policies on behalf of the people.

HOW CITIZENS PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Political discussions
There are political programmes on radio, television and at symposia to discuss issues of national interest. Radio and television panelists who engage in these discussions are said to be taking part in the political process. National issues are tabled before the panelists and they are expected to express their opinion of those matters. As they do so, they are participating in the political process of the state.

Political rallies
One of the means by which political parties galvanize their support base for elections is through political rallies. At such functions, party leaders educate the voters on how to vote and why they must vote for a particular party. Attendance of such political party functions can be considered as participation in the political process.

Holding political office
One of the ways in which citizens of a state participate in the political process of their country is through periodic elections. Periodically, political office holders or those aspiring for the offices put themselves up to be elected by the people. As they contest for these positions, they are engaged in the political process.

Exercising the franchise
Those who vie for political office have to be voted for before they can come to power. It is the electorates who vote for them during the elections. As these electorates exercise their franchise to elect political office holders, they are also participating in the political process of their country.

Activities of electoral officers
When periodic elections are being held, there are certain election officials which the Electoral Commission of the state engages to supervise the election. Apart from that, there are political party representatives who add another layer of free and fairness to the entire political process. As these election officials do their assigned works, they are seen to be participating in the political process.

Activities of pressure groups
The main aim of pressure groups is to influence government policy in favour of their members. Pressure groups sometimes use demonstrations and boycotts to achieve their aim. As the members of pressure groups engage in their various methods to achieve their aim, they are also deemed to be participating in the political process.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. What is political participation?
    b. Highlight five ways in which citizens can participate in the political process of their country.

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