Political apathy can be defined as the refusal of citizens to participate in the political activities of the state.

It is the indifference in the attitude of citizens towards political participation.

Political apathy refers to a citizen's lack of interest or lack of concern for political issues.

Political apathy may manifest in various forms, including:

1. Citizens' refusal to run for political office

2. Refusal to register for the election.

3. Refusal to register to vote

4. Refusal to attend town hall meetings created to discuss issues that affect the community.

5. Refusal to join a political party.

6. Unwillingness to attend political parties' activities.

7. Apathy toward government policies and programs.

Causes Of Political Apathy

1. Electoral violence: One of the major causes of political apathy manifested in voter apathy is electoral violence

Most times, Citizens refuse to vote in elections for fear that party thugs may  intimidate them and manipulate the result of the election

More so, the party thugs usually scare voters away from polling units with dangerous weapons like cutlass, and guns.

All of this may discourage voters who believe the election is not worth risking their lives for.

2. Cynicism: Political apathy may result from cynicism, which is the dislike for politics and politicians.

Many people do not participate in politics because they believe that politics is a dirty game.

Many well-known incidents of political violence, such as the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and Funsho Williams, have bolstered this belief.

3. Perception and Frustration about the electoral system: If people have complete distrust in the electoral system, they may refuse to vote because they believe their votes will not be counted.

Secondly, Political apathy may result from frustration with the system caused by prevailing incorrigible and corrupt practices in the electoral and political system.

Lastly, citizens may also develop political apathy if successive governments renege on their electioneering promises

4. Lack of political education: This is one of the common causes of political apathy, especially in the rural areas where there are many uneducated people.

If a person lacks formal education, he may unable to seek the elective position. This is because the laws of most countries stipulate the minimum level of education a person must attain before seeking elective positions.

Moreover, a person may not participate in politics if he is not adequately informed of the current political situation in the country.

5. Poor democratic political culturePolitical culture refers to the distinct and patterned manner in which government, politics, and economic life should be conducted.

Political apathy will occur if citizens have poor democratic political culture.

Dangers of political apathy

1. It has the potential to render the government illegitimate: A government is legitimate if it has the popular support and trust of its citizens.

Political apathy erodes public support for the government, potentially rendering it illegitimate.

2. It may result in a military takeover: If there is complete distrust in the current government, as evidenced by political apathy, the military may step in to restore people's confidence in the government.

However, as we have seen in most cases, most military regimes do worse than their predecessors.

This is why many citizens will choose constituted government over military government, seeing constituted government as the lesser of two evils.


3. Political apathy can result in democratic backsliding: According to Wikipedia, democratic backsliding is the decline in the democratic characteristics of a political system.

One major characteristic of political apathy is low voter turnout. Since democracy rest on the pillars of popular participation and periodic elections, political apathy may result in democratic backsliding.

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