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SS2: GOVERNMENT - 1ST TERM

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  1. Electoral Process | Week 1
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  2. Types of Electoral Process | Week 2
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  3. Electoral Process Continues - Proportional, Representation, Repeated Ballot, Direct and Indirect Elections | Week 3
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  4. Ballot Systems | Types of Voting | Week 4
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  5. Organization of Election | Week 5
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  6. Electoral Commission and Electoral Officers | Week 6
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  7. Public Opinion and Mass Media | Week 7
    6 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  8. Civil Service | Week 8
    6 Topics
  9. Personnel Administration in the Civil Service | Week 9
    5 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  10. Public Corporation | Week 10
    9 Topics
  11. Commercialization, Privatization and Deregulation of Public Corporations | Week 11
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz



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Lesson 5, Topic 2
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Constituency: Meaning, Types and Constituency Delineation

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Meaning of Constituency:

A constituency is an electoral district or area within a relatively known population from which one or more representatives can be elected into the legislature. The electoral commission delineates states into constituencies for electoral purposes. The population is a major factor in constituency delineation.

Types of Constituency:

There are two types of constituencies;

1. Single Member Constituency
2. Multi-Member Constituency

(1) Single Member Constituency:

Single Member Constituency is an electoral district or area that elects one member into the legislature to represent their interest. Nigeria adopts this method.

Merits of Single Member Constituency: 

(i) As the constituency is small, the electorate will maintain a link with the elected representatives for effective representation. 

 (ii) It allows the voters to know the candidate better in order to make informed decisions during elections.

(iii) As the constituencies are small, the electorate can assess the performance of the representative and hold representatives accountable.

(iv) The people are more interested in political activities.

(v) It ensures equal representation of the distributive population.

Demerits of Single Member Constituency:

(i) It can lead to poor representation of the interest of minorities in the constituency. The candidate from the minorities may find it difficult to emerge as winners.

(ii) Single-Member Constituency representatives promote the interest of their constituency to the detriment of national interest.

(iii) At times the constituency is divided in such a manner to manipulate elections to favour the government of the day.

(iv) This type of constituency makes it possible for elected representatives who are parochial and over-ambitious to overstay in power.

(2) Multi-Member Constituency:

In a multi-member constituency, more than one representative is elected from each constituency. A specific number of seats are allotted to each constituency. In this system, a voter may vote more than once. The number of votes a voter can cast depends on the number of seats to be filled. This system is not too popular as most countries operate single-member constituencies.

Merits of Multi-Member Constituency:

(i) It enhances a greater representation of the people in government as more than one seat is allotted to a constituency.

(ii) The interest of the minority is better represented.

(iii) Minority Political Parties thrive as these political parties may secure few seats in the legislature.

(iv) The constituencies are larger both in size and population thereby making it difficult for someone or the government to manipulate the constituency through gerrymander. 

(v) Political parties may find it difficult to influence election results or bribe their way to power.

Demerits of Multi-Member Constituency:

(i) The voters may have poor knowledge of the candidates they are voting for.

(ii) Mediocre candidates may end up being elected into office.

(iii) There may be no bond between the representatives and the people in the constituency.

(iv) The electorate may not know which of the representatives to hold accountable for poor representation in the government.

(v) There may be poor or defective representation in the government as each representative may be waiting for the others to take up the responsibility.

Constituency Delineation:

Constituency delineation is the process of dividing/sharing the state into electoral districts, areas or wards for the purpose of election.

Factors that Affect Constituency Delineation:

(i) Population is a key factor in Constituency Delineation. Areas that are small with a high population may be a constituency while a large area that is sparsely populated may be a constituency.

(ii) The composition of the interest groups that are in an area is considered to give everyone a sense of belonging.

(iii) Administrative Convenience is also important. The electoral commission may carve out constituencies in a manner that will make its work easier.

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