Republican Form of Government: Advantages and Disadvantages
A Republican form of government is a system of government in which the country in question is regarded as public property, not the private concern or property of the rulers.
The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a monarch.
The republican system of government is one in which the sovereignty of the state is resident within the people. In a republican system, people have the chance to elect those who will represent them and take those political decisions in their stead.
In this system, the Head of State is voted into office. The richest countries of the world like the United States, Ghana, and even France are excellent examples of countries that practice the republican system of government.
In 2017, a study conducted revealed that 159 of the world’s 206 sovereign states associate the word “republic” in the listings of their official names, however, not all of them are republics in the sense of having elected governments.
It is quite terrible to find out in these countries which claim republics and say the citizens elected them actually do conduct elections just yo fulfill all righteousness. Such elections in truth do not afford the citizenry opportunity to exercise their franchise.
In an ideal republic, the Head of State has elected into the office by the electorate or an electoral college that samples the general opinions of the citizens.
Most of the time, the Head of State is known as the president and times wields so much political authority other times, he does but, his significance is seen in the legislature.
Characteristics of The Republican Form of Government
The power existent in any republican form of government is usually outsourced from the electorate who are the people who elect the government through a general election. By implication, sovereignty lies in the hands of the people.
There is periodic conduction of elections in a republic form of government accentuating the themes of democracy. Counties like Nigerian and Ghana have their elections one in every four years.
A republic system of government affords only those registered voters opportunities to choose their leader. It is true there is respect for the franchise of the citizenry, however, only those who are adjudged by the laws of the land are qualified to vote.
There is a general respect of the rule of law. The basic principles behind the idea of the rule of law which includes: the law being supreme over every citizen, and no citizen being much more special than other citizen is thoroughly observed.
The United Nations coined what is known as the Declaration of Fundamental Human Rights in 1945, every republican state utmostly believes and stands by this declaration.
In a country practicing the republican form of government, the constitution is binding over every citizen. No citizen is either superior or inferior to the other citizen. Whatever is therefore in dissonance to the guiding constitution of the land, is considered invalid.
Advantages of Republican System of Government
The republican form of government is representative. This is an actual sense means that representatives in a republican system are elected to serve the common good and these elected officials are voted in directly by the people themselves.
A republican government is also entirely constitutional which means that everything that is done within the state, is done within the remits of the legal constitution.
Having representatives for the electorate make the laws guiding the land much more efficient and all-inclusive which in turn is faster and better in terms of rapid societal development in any republican system of government.
In the republican system, the people have a large say in their government as they delegate power to these representatives.
Political authority and will is bestowed on rulers and administrators through a free and fair electoral process which makes a republican system of government very democratic. These representatives voted in are responsible to the people that in the event of failure in the discharge of their duties, the republican system allows for a proper means of voting this people out.
With the law and order in full functionality in the republican government, the rights and freedoms of every citizen of the state are preserved.
Disadvantages of Republican System of Government
Republican systems can turn out to be expensive to operate. For instance, elections which is a native characteristic of republican form of government often require and take up a lot of resources to conduct successfully. This can have a debilitating effect in countries of low financial status.
The structure of a typical republican form of government fits perfectly into the mould of small nations and communities. This rules out its operations in any densely populated country.
The laws made by legislature in a republican system have to get past what you could bottlenecks without which they would not be enacted as laws. And as such, aligning to these processes as highlighted by the constitution can therefore be very time-consuming.
The lack of diversity in the republican system is a matter that stands out. This is because, on norms, republican people just cannot be distinct from one another. The implication of this in any republican system of government is the recycling of defunct structures and faulty ideologies which undermine any possible societal development.
In a republican system of government, there are sometimes many political parties juggling for the higher corridors of political power which could spell very negative consequences both for the citizens and the nation at large.
In nations like Nigeria running a republican system with diverse cultures and identities can fast devolve into factions which can bode disaster in the political climate of such a nation.
In countries practicing the republican form of government and the level of education is quite low, politicians could possibly take advantage of the education lag and deceive unsuspecting citizens just so they can wield political power.