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Factors Affecting Political Participation

Factors Affecting Political Participation


INTRODUCTION



Political participation

We all have a role to play in the smooth running of the affairs of our country, we all have a say on how we want to be ruled by our leaders, we all have something to contribute towards the development of our country and towards the betterment of our lives.

Our leaders need us as much as we need them, they were once citizens with no authority like us, they were once helpless like us, they were once known by no one but us, they are our friends, relatives, parents, childrens and our neighbours.

We support them with our energy, money, advices and lots more, we vote for them and persuade others to vote them, unser sun shine and rain we mobilize people to vote them, and after all the hardwork they attain power, thats a lifetime accomplishment.

But then we saw them heading the wrong direction, this isnt the time to fold our hands and wait for miracle to happen, its time for political participation.

WHAT IS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION?

Definition of political participation

Political participation can be defined as the process whereby individuals get themselves involved in the political activities and in the decision making of their country.

FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Forms of political participation

There are many forms of political participation, many are simple and require less efforts, and even the ones that require much efforts are worth.

Depending on our abilities, there are many things to do as those striving for change to achieve such goals.

Individuals political participation may take the following forms:

1. VOTING IN ELECTION 

Voting: political participation

Voting is one of the fundamental human right, to vote and to be voted for.

Voting in elections is one of the most important forms of political participation it is also the most common and the most engaging participation.

In Nigeria, general elections take place after every four years, where every elected politician will contest for an office, organize campaigns to convince electorate to vote for him, and atlast the ecandidates with the highest votes is declared the winner of that election.

Every is expected to participate in this activity as it is the best way citizens can fight back, chase away any politician that failed to fulfill his campaign promises and perform woefully to replace him with a competent politician.

2. HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICES

Holding political Office: political participation

Just as you have the right to vote for any candidate for any political office, so also  you have the right to attain and run that office.

It is indeed an important participation in political affairs.

Applying for public offices while meeting the requirements for such office is also part of political participation, as that office can be used to reshape and improve the performance of that industry or ministry toward the development your society, community, state or country at last if the powers of such office are used efficiently and in a positive and good ways.

3. CONTESTING ELECTIONS

When politicians head toward the wrong direction and you did your best to bring them back on track but your efforts failed, you dont just fold your hands and wait for miracle to happen, there are many other ways to make them accountable, one of those things is to contest for that political office.

Yes, you have the constitutional right to contest and to be voted for any political position in as long as you fulfil the requirements needed to run that office.

It is a great political participation technique that many good citizens should indulge in, this will help to reduce the rate of bad people getting elecetd into political positions they dont deserve.

4. SUPPORTING POLITICAL PARTIES

Party: political participation


Having a party you support is also part of political participation.

Nigerias political structure is based on a multi-party system which makes it possibleto support any party whose manifestors, goals and aims tally with your demand.

Having a party help ease the work of looking of a good candidate to support during elections,as that party will ensure they present a candidate that meet up their requirements and can fulfill their manifestors.

Incase of countrys with one party system, a single party will  present multiple candidates from which you will choose who to vote for.

5. BELONGING TO A POLITICAL PARTY

You can beyond just supporting a political party, you can likewise join that party, either to contest for an office or to help achieve the manifestors of that party by contributing either with advice or fund to run the party.

Joining a party means you will abide by that partys rules and regulations, work and contribute toward achieving the goals of that party which is stated clearly in their manifestors.

6. SUPPORTING CANDIDATES

Supporting candidate

Talking of support, every citizen can support a candidate of their choice.

Supporting a candidate we trust is tagged a form of political participation, as it portray our interest in how the affairs of our country are run, it shows our satifaction or otherwise toward how the people we vote perform in their respective offices.

We can support candidates at party level during primary elections or national level during genral elections.

7. PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATION

Protests: political participation

Another form of political participation is protests, mainly used to show dissatisfaction towards some government action or to show solidarity for a politician or a citizen treated unfairly.

Protest should be peaceful and  be on a very clear and positive goal and be disbanded once the aim is achieved.

You can also read Why leaders fail to protect the interest of their followers

8. PARTIAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Campaigns: political participation

Other forms of political participation include attending campaigns, which is a way of showing support and solidarity to your candidate or party.

9. OBSERVATORY POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Magazines: political participation

Listening to radio programmes, watching Tv news and programmes and reading magazines and newspapers and following poliotical discussions is also a form of political participation.

Radio: political participation

This will help let you know whats going in your country, what you are lacking, how your leaders are performig and many more.

PURPOSE OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Political participationmay be aimed at many purposes, many are positive and many are negative.

The fact is many joined politics with bad intention, intentions to loot, to steal, to influence others to do so, to support rogue and bad politicians while lobbying for political positions, and hence corrupting our youths , giving them drugs to perform dirty jobs.

While on the bright side, there are others that joined politics with the sole aim of making the country better, and the lives of the citizens better and same time to flush out those rogue politicians.

Political participations aim should be directed toward a better community, country and better live for citizens.

Some of the reasons why individuals joined political participation include but not limited to:

1. DECISION MAKING

Political particiapation will help you with decision making on many aspect of countrys political affairs such as :

Choosing a leader

Knowing which political party to support

Knowing how your government is performing and hence decide if they deserve another term

And many more.

2. FAILURE OF PAST GOVERNMENT

Knowing failure of past government and evaluating the performance of the current government can only be achieved by effective political participation.

This is because you followed all the activities of the previous government, and likewise that of the current government, compare the two and arrive at a conclusion, only by doing this will you be able to judge every administration justly.

3. CORRECTION OF THE ILLS IN THE SOCIETY

Our societies are full of problems, some of which are drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, and much more which all lead to insecurity.

There is a popular saying, finding the root of a problem is half-way to finding its solution, and I believ this fact.

We cant find a solution to an un-identified problem, and to fish out the problems in our society we have to indulge deeply into political participation which will help us detect the problems , and thereafter provide remedies to such problems.

4. AVENUE FOR MONEY MAKING

Sad to say, but the truth is  many people participate in politics not purposely for the sake of a better community, country or leadership but for their self gain.

They tend to support politician or party, organzie campaigns and other political activities for the purpose of making money or securing a political appointment.

These same people tend to blackmail a competent politician, explore his flaws and weakness and promote a bad one for the reason stated above.

This is a bad attitude that should be avoided as it endangers the welfare and at worst the lives of millions of people for few bucks.

5. FOR RESPECT AND PRESTIGE

Some are in political participation to earn respect and prestige for themselves or their family, this can be achieved either by establsishing a goog relationship with top class politicians.

Although this may not seem to be bad, but political participation shouldnt be for personal gains, it should be for coolective gain, for good leadership and better living to all.

6. AS OCCUPATION

Just as some take it as a way of earning money, there are others that it to the depth of regarding it as full term occupation, to an extend of writing politics as their occupation while filing forms.

Political participatio isnt an occupation or way  to make money, but a patriotism.

7. MANAGEMENT OF NATION'S RESOURCES

And lastly, other people regard political participation as an opportunity to manage nations resources, this can be achieved by holding political offices.

Its high time we know the people we vote to represent us at various levels, many of them are not doing it for our betterment.

FACTORS AFFECTING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

There are many factors affecting political participation, these include:

1. LACK OF TRUST IN THE GOVERNMENT

Governments insincerity is one of the factors affecting political participation negatively, and this can lead to political apathy.

You can also read Causes of political apathy and the way out

The government have to sincere and just in all of its activities, and citizens should be allowed to voice out their view and allowed to partake in political participation which is their constitutional right.

2. FEAR OF INTIMIDATION

Some citizens may be intimidated, threatened or attacked, this is also a factor that affects political participation drastically.

The government should ensure the safety of every citizen in the country.

3. APATHY OR LACK OF INTEREST

Some people take political participation as a waste of time, and therefore have no interest in taking part in it, rather they prefer to stay out of politics and concentrate on making their ends meet.

This is at times as a result of how the government treat the citizens, some think that it is of no important participating in politics when the government is not appeciating .

4. IGNORANCE OR ILLITERACY

Some avoid participating I politics because they believe politics is for elites and their educated children, and that political participation is not for the likes of them.

The government should make an avenue where the son nobody can get access to free education.

5. FREQUENT REMOVAL OF ELECTED GOVERNMENTS

Frequent removal of elected government officials is also part of the reasons why people neglect political participation.

When the desired outcome is almost achieved and tthen the elected official got removed, it will reverse the whole process to level zero (0), when this happens frequently it will intimidate the citizens and hence force them to give up.

6. POVERTY

Poverty is also a crucial factor that stop people from participating in politics.

A person that wakes up with nothing for breakfast will definitely get preoccupied with the thoughts of how and where to source income to feed himself and his family and will therefore have no time for political participation, all his thoughts will be thoughts will be centered on how to make his ends meet.

CONCLUSION

Our leaders are not perfect, they are humans like us, they will surely get things wrong at times, its our duty to correct them using every possible and peaceful means, and the easiest way is through political participation.

Political participation shouldnt be used to abuse or taunt any politician, and also all national laws should be observed duely.

And lastly, every concerned citizen striving for the betterment of his country and fellow citizens should in one way or the other participate in politics.

Have any suggestion? Do not hesitate, drop it in the comment box below.

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Thank you

Abuaslam is blogger and passionate about helping others succeed. I like dialoges and discussions that tech and politics related.

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