Article Number: DRJSSES41463091
Vol. 8, Pp.35-39, 2021
Copyright © 2021
Author retains the copyright of this article
Influence of Social Tax on Elections in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic
Some of the major reasons Nigeria’s democratic experience has been convulsive over the years include challenges associated with the conduct of credible elections. Beyond the major factors influencing voting behaviour, such as social class, mass media, gender, age, and party manifestos, vote-buying and other forms of voter inducement have reduced Nigerian elections to a cash and carry exercise, which is antithetical to democratic ethos and principles. Several Nigerians now exercise their franchise on the basis of how much monetary and material incentive they receive or hope to receive through an informal arrangement called tax. Efforts to address these and other similar challenges have resulted in some attempts to rearrange both the institutions and rules guiding the conduct of elections in the country. However, extant laws on the amount of money or other assets an individual may donate to a political party and limitation on election expenses as stipulated in the Electoral Act 2010 do not address the culture of give and take which has become a major factor in the Nigerian electoral system. A qualitative exploratory approach is utilized to look at the influence of social tax on voting behaviour, and its possible influence on democratic sustenance within the framework of the 1999 constitution, and the 2010 Electoral Act in the country. The paper concludes that the attempt to regulate electoral spending and consolidate democracy in Nigeria cannot be successfully handled through provisions of the laws without some form of emancipative cultural change. Sustained political education and promotion of policies and programmes that can improve citizens welfare are recommended towards improving electoral behaviour, and democratic sustenance in Nigeria.
Keywords: Democratic Sustenance, Election, Social Tax Nigeria’s Fourth Republic