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SS1: GOVERNMENT - 3RD TERM

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  1. Fundamental Human Right and Representative Government | Week 1
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  2. Separation of Power and Checks and Balances | Week 2
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  3. Constitution | Week 3
    5 Topics
    |
    2 Quizzes
  4. Citizenship | Week 4 & 5
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  5. Political Parties | Week 6
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  6. Party System | Week 7
    5 Topics
    |
    2 Quizzes
  7. Pressure Groups | Week 8
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz



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Lesson 3, Topic 3
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Rigid and Flexible Constitution, Meaning, Merits and Demerits

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Rigid Constitution:

Rigid Constitution is the type of constitution which cannot be easily amended. The amendment procedure is cumbersome, difficult, or stringent. The amendment procedure is usually stated in the constitution.

In some countries, it may require a two-thirds majority (2/3) of their national and state assemblies, in addition to a referendum. Most Rigid Constitutions are written. Federal constitutions are written and rigid. Countries that have rigid constitutions that are written include Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, etc.

Merits of Rigid Constitution:

(i) Rigid cannot be changed at will by the government, this prevents manipulation.

(ii) It prevents the arbitrariness of law.

(iii) It promotes political stability.

(iv) It prevents the passage of hasty and ill-conceived decisions/laws as legislations pass through a rigorous process before they are passed.

(v) It ensures the protection of civil freedom as amendment procedure is difficult.

(vi) As Rigid Constitutions are written and amendment procedures difficult, it is suitable for large populations with multi-ethnic groups. 

Demerits of Rigid Constitution:

(i) The amendment process is too slow and time-consuming.

(ii) It is difficult to amend.

(iii) Emergency situations and contingencies may not be promptly attended to

(iv) The amendment procedure of such constitution may slow down economic, social and political growth.

Flexible Constitution:

A flexible Constitution is a constitution which can easily be amended through an ordinary process and procedure of law enactment. The amendment procedure is not difficult.

Flexible Constitutions are unwritten. Countries that operate Flexible Constitution include Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, etc.

Merits of Flexible Constitution:

(i) It is easy to amend.

(ii) It is susceptible to change and therefore suitable for emergencies and changing times.

(iii) It promotes quick decision making and implementation.

(iv) Amendment process is fast and less time-consuming.

(v) It promotes quick social, political and economic growth.

Demerits of Flexible Constitution:

(i) The government may manipulate the constitution.

(ii) It may lead to dictatorial rule as the political leader may assume all the power for himself.

(iii) It is unsuitable for large states with heterogeneous societies.

(iv) Flexible Constitution may lead to the hasty passage of bills and ill-conceived ones.

(v) It may lead to political instability due to constant changes in the constitution.

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