Meaning and Purpose of Election
Election is the method or process by which people vote to choose a person or group of people to hold an official position. Election is used also to make a collective decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates, or campaigns.
In a democratic state, elections are used to fill vacant political posts. In a referendum, plebiscites are held to ensure people’s opinion forms part of the government. Voters are called the electorate while people to be voted for are called candidates.
Purpose of Election:
(i) Elections are held to fill vacant seats in the government. At the end of the tenure of a government, there is a need to organize elections to fill vacant seats.
(ii) Election is the process by which the electorate express their views, opinions or attitude.
(iii) Popularity and acceptability of candidates and political parties can be measured through elections.
(iv) Election makes it possible for those in government to give account of their stewardship. Bad government can be voted out.
(v) It offers a smooth and peaceful method of changing government thereby ensuring political stability.
(vi) It promotes wide-scope political participation.
(vii) Election promotes political enlightenment through campaigns, political debates, and discussion. This may in the process lead to the resolution of some national issues and draw national integration programmes for the government.
(viii) It can help to resolve public issues and guide the government in making informed decisions.
(ix) It gives legitimacy to the government that emerges.