Role of elections in consolidating democracy
One of the suggested obstacles to democratic consolidation is brain drain in which high skilled workers from developing countries migrate to high-income and capital-rich countries.This leaves many new democracies in the developing world problems in terms of steering effective governance due to the lack of high-skilled professionals (for example: Regilme, 2013).
Elections have been seen as central to competitive politics.Linz and Stepan's thesis, for example, is that democracy is consolidated by the presence of the institutions supporting and surrounding elections (for example the rule of law).O'Donnell believes that the institutionalization of electoral rules is not the most interesting feature of democratic consolidation.What are their attitudes to democracy and the rule of law?The article engages these questions and argues that the democratic qualities of Nigerian elections under the Fourth Republic (1999–2007) have been shallow because of ineffective governance.The form and character of the Nigerian state, giving rise especially to political instability and severe underdevelopment, are other sources of the deepening crisis of electoral governance in Nigeria.
However, the recent trend towards challenging electoral fraud in the courts gives some hope that elections may still contribute towards the consolidation of Nigeria’s democracy.
His approach is to compare the formal institutional rules (for example the constitution) with the informal practices of actors.
Consolidation on this view is when the actors in a system follow (have informally institutionalised) the formal rules of the democratic institution.
This was due in large part to the weak institutionalization of the primary agencies of electoral administration, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the political parties.
INEC lacks both institutional and administrative autonomy, as manifested by its composition and funding by the presidency, as well as its gross lack of professionalism and security of tenure for its officials.
Ideally, they guarantee political participation and competition, which in turn are pivotal to democratic transition and consolidation.