Meaning and Forms of Political Participation
Political participation is the voluntary involvement of citizens in the process of public decisions who try to take part in and shape the decisions that affect their lives.
It is the process of the citizens taking part in political activities in the state e.g. voting in an election, engaging in political discussion, listening to the news, etc.
Forms of Political Participation:
(i) Citizens can contest in elections for a political post.
(ii) Citizens can exercise their franchise by voting in elections.
(iii) Citizens can join political parties.
(iv) One can hold public office e.g. Chairman of INEC.
(v) Citizens can participate in politics by writing petitions and protest letters against any misgiving.
(vi) Citizens can also engage in political debates and discussions on the television, in newspapers, on social media or personal discussions, etc.
(vii) Another form of political participation is by supporting and sponsoring candidates and political parties.
(viii) Attending rallies, campaigns and government programmes is another form of political participation.
(ix) Acting as a polling agent for a candidate or political party in an election.
(x) Lobbying to influence members of the legislature to pass laws in favour of the citizens.
(xi) Observatory posture is another form. The individual need not join a political party but may have an interest in only listening, discussing political issues, or the election.