I was doing some keyword research lately and i found that one of the topics many students and researchers are currently searching for in the internet is “the differences between military and democratic government”. After reading some works on this topic in the internet, i thought it wise to write a more comprehensive article on the differences between military and democratic rule or government. On that note, if you have been wanting to know the difference between military and democratic rule in Nigeria, or you have been asking the question “what is the difference between military and domestic government?” then search no further. This article will do justice to that.
I enjoin you to read this work painstakingly because i am sure you don’t want to miss any sentence. In fact, everything in this article is relevant to help you understand the whole concept in this work. Nonetheless, before going to the crux of this topic, i would like to briefly explain what a military and a democratic government is.
What is a democratic government?
According to Wikipedia, Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. It is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
What is a military government?
On the other hand, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a military government as a government established by a military commander in conquered territory to administer the military law declared under military authority applicable to all persons in the conquered territory and superseding any incompatible local law.
MUST READ: Sources of Nigerian Constitution
Differences between a Military and Democratic government
Below are the differences between a military and a democratic government:
- A democratic government is ruled by civilians, usually elected by the people. On the other hand, military government is ruled by the armed forces, who do not come to power through election, but by force of arms.
- Democracy is ruled by the constitution and reign of civil laws which are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society with civilian exercising all legislative, executive and judicial powers. Military rule means suspension and modification of the constitution. Imposition of martial law wholesale, partially, or modified, with the military exercising all legislative, executive and sometimes judicial powers as the case may be.
- Democracy is a product or a process rooted in the tradition of civil liberties, rights and obligations, constitutional and civil behaviors. It is a system that is based on fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech, free debate and opposition, especially by minority political parties in parliament as the case may be. Military regime is a process, procedure or system with expertise; adapted and rooted in war and combat. It is a system rooted in martial law and forces. It is also a system that demands obedience always and in its purest essence makes no room for debate and opposition.
- A constitutional and democratic government is usually transparent, responsible and accountable to the people, who may renew its mandate to rule at election. Military rule is largely not responsible or accountable to the people. The people may however, check it through popular civil action and so forth.
- Democracy brings to its task the traditions of fundamental rights, legal and constitutional requirements. Military regime uses shortcut and substitutes. It relies on martial law, military tactics and force.
- Democracy allows for imputs, criticism and the functioning of a free press and free debate among subordinates and the people. A civil administration elicits people and co-operation and it is also adaptable to easy change and modification. Civil administration operates on a voluntary basis and thereby elicits loyalty and devotion, which no military force can instill. Military government operates a chain of command and there is little individual initiative at the bottom. The military operates by order that allows little or no deviation.
- Democracy is rule by civil made by the elected representatives of the people in parliamentary. Military rule is rule by decrees, edits, Martial law and emergency laws.
Characteristics of Nigerian customary law
- Democracy allows the assertion of rule of law as guaranteed by the constitution. Military rule is assertion of arbitrary power, restriction of civil liberties. In extreme cases, there may be suspension of habeas corpus and imposition of retrospective laws and stricter penalties.
- Democracy is slow, and has the appearance of inefficiency. Action is usually voluntary and rooted in dialogue and persuasion; therefore the result achieved are usually more lasting. Military rule operates by threat or application of force which leads to immediate obedience. It has the appearance of efficiency. However, it is a strait jacket of order which can only be obeyed and not debated. Since obedience is by force, the result achieved do not often last long in the absence of continuous monitoring, threat or application of force.
- The mandate of a constitutional and democratic government to rule and its tenure of office is usually stipulated in the constitution or in a law and its assumption of office or continuation in power is determined by the Electorate through vote during elections. A military regime does not have a constitutional or legal mandate to rule and its tenure of office is not owed to the people. It either voluntarily determines its own tenure or such tenure is determined by another military take over or, popular civil action by the people.
Yeah! There you have the differences between a military and democratic government. Following the content of this article, it is evident that a civilian government is far better than a military government since there is always an element of freedom when there is a democratic government. Using Nigeria for instance, there is no doubt that this country has recorded more growth and development in a democratic regime than in the military.
Of course, military government has its own advantages. However, if the two governments are placed in a scale, a democratic government is apparently better. Nonetheless, if you have anything to ask or contribute to this article, then you can send it using the comment section. If you think that military government is better than civilian government, i want to here from you. Share your opinion in the comment section below.
Edeh Chukwuemeka Samuel is a certified Mediator and Conciliator in Nigeria. He is currently a student at the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria. Samuel is bent on disseminating authentic information to every part of the world.