Political Liberty: Meaning, Definition, Types & Examples
Political Liberty is the right of an individual to share in the government of his country. The state recognises political right, especially as most of these rights are entrenched in the constitution.
Political Liberty Involves the Following:
- Right to Vote: Where political liberty is operational, all adults have the right to vote.
- Right to Contest in an Election: Age limit differs in different countries, e.g. in Nigeria 18 years for a voter, United States, 25 years for a member of House of Representatives.
- Periodic Elections: Powers are not given to elected bodies permanently. Elections are done periodically, namely, every four or five years depending on the laid down rules by the country.
- Equal Eligibility for Government Office: Eligibility applies to only the citizens that have the necessary qualification.
- Right to Criticize the Government: This is based on the right of the individual speech, publication and membership of associations. In a democratic setting, individuals are encouraged to criticize the government constructively, contributing in the decision-making of the country.
Factors that can Safeguard the Liberty of Individual
- Law: This is an important condition to the liberty of an individual.
- Independence of the Judiciary: The essential of this to freedom of the individual cannot be underestimated. The Judiciary and Judges should be free from the interference of the executive and the legislature.
- Democracy: Under democracy, political power is with the masses and so freedom is guaranteed.
- Power Distribution: When powers are decentralised, more likely, men will be zealous for freedom.
- Fundamental Human Rights: It is usually entrenched in a written constitution, embodying the civiland political rights of the citizens and placing some limitations on the powers of those in goverment.
- Vigilance: This is a sure safeguard to freedomThis means that citizen are alert and ready to fight any unreasonable interferences with their rights.