POPPER AND THE DEMOCRATIC SPACE IN NIGERIAN POLITICS: AN ETHICAL ANALYSIS
The political space in Nigeria is always charged due to the absence of democratic
ethics by politicians who speak of change without any commitment to such a
promise or genuine effort towards improving the social and economic structures
of the society. The political space favours party candidature and interests as
against independent candidature during an election, which makes the allegiance
or responsibility of the former to be, first, to the political party and hardly about
the common good. This paper demonstrates a practical suggestion to the problem
through Popper’s idea of creative politics, which culminates in the principle that
a government can be dismissed by a majority vote. Popper’s preference for
democracy is because it is built on choice-making. The choice the electorate makes
of their leaders is measured by their socio-economic reality. However, the
difficulty with this style of democracy is not “who should rule?”, but how the state
is to be constituted so that bad rulers can be got rid of without bloodshed and
violence. It is only a true leader with a powerful political will that can make the
greatest impact on the lives of the people. The democracy that allows such
individuals does not place emphasis on the rule of the people, but of party majority
and loyalists. The paper argues that a democracy that is truly a rule of, by and for
the people is difficult to achieve within a political space that emphasizes party
allegiance. Therefore, it concludes that Popper’s idea of creative politics, which
favours the idea of independent candidates during an election, is a valuable
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