Political apathy entails disinterest in politics, and this kind of feeling can’t bring positive changes to the country. It doesn’t matter what your attitude toward political events, staying indifferent is the most dangerous thing that can happen. It is important to voice your public opinion, participate in elections, and be responsible for the future of your country.
In this article we would be looking at Meaning of Political Apathy, Forms and Reason.
Definition of political apathy
Political apathy is the loss of interest and manifestations of withdrawal from politics/political activities by citizens of a country. In other words, the citizens of a country who don’t participate in political processes (don’t vote, don’t express their opinions on political issues, etc.) show political negligence or apathy.
Reasons for Political Apathy
Belief That Vote Doesn’t Count: Many Nigerians believe that their vote doesn’t count. So this leads to disinterest in political activities in the country. Also, many citizens feel like one person cannot make a difference, so this mindset prevents them from going to the polling unit to cast their vote i.e. Some people believe that their vote changes nothing. So they ignore the elections and simply don’t vote.
Dislike of Politicians: Some people believe that politicians are evil because many of them don’t care for the citizens and even lose touch with voters after they are elected. And this dislike or negative opinion prevents them from voting.
Lack of Trust in Government: Many people have lost faith in government, especially in Nigeria. They don’t trust the government to make the changes they feel are needed and don’t see the point in voting or being involved.
Negative Media/Poor Journalism: This is one of the reasons for political apathy. Media are always filled with negativism and propaganda as elections are getting closer. This unhealthy atmosphere created by media leads to political apathy. News programs do not provide substantive coverage of candidates and their views on issues, offering instead sound clips and opinions from biased panelists.
Forms of Political Apathy
- A decision not to vote during elections
- Refusal to register for voting.
- Showing no interest in protecting the electoral process.
- Refusal to join political parties.
- Refusal to hold political posts and party posts
- refusal to engage in political discussions and debates
- Refusal to be involved in the observation of political parties.
Effects of Political Apathy to the Society
- The emergence of undemocratic government.
- Lack of accountability by government officials.
- Denial of citizen’s rights.
- Breeding of corruption in government.
- Denial of the dividends of democracy to the electorate.
- Slowing down the pace of political development.
- Loss of respect for political leaders.
Ways of Addressing Political Apathy
- Creating awareness of political rights of citizens.
- Defending the political rights of the less privileged in society.
- Encouraging participation in election and other political activities.
- Encouraging press freedom.
- Encouraging an independent and corrupt free electoral body.
- Cultivating civic values in the citizens.
- Joining/forming political organizations.
- Ensuring effective teaching and learning of civic education in schools.
- Discouraging the use of political thugs/electoral violence.