Capitalist is a person who supports capitalism or a person who owns or controls a lot of wealth and uses it to produce more wealth. While democracy is a system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives in a popular and periodic election.

Therefore, capitalist democracy can be defined as the economic, social and political system, by which the government select their representatives of the people who can manage and control the resources of the country for the good of the masses or people. In capitalist democracy, the means of production and distribution of goods is owned and controlled by private corporations and individual. It provides freedom of speech, press, religion, association, movement, education etc. Decisions made in capitalist democracy is taken to the majority rule and provides equal opportunity.


Characteristics of Capitalist Democracy

  1. Equity in Rights: In a capitalist democracy, all men are considered to have equal freedom, though they may differ in intelligence, wealth, health, education etc, they are considered to have equal political rights.
  2. Free and Fair Election: There must be free and fair elections in every capitalist democracy. The competition in election is open and free.
  3. Existence of Political Parties: In the capitalist democratic status there must be existence of political parties in the sense that there would be more than one political party or one individual competing for power. In any capitalist democratic state, there is the believe that man is a national being that can solve his problem and make progress if he is given the chance. Man is said to be basically moral. If he is given a choice to choose between evil and good he will definitely choose to do “good”. Man also needs to do good in order to tackle the problem facing his country.
  4. Competitiveness: Capitalist democracy is very competitive. Those who have, acquire more and more wealth while those who don’t have become the object of exploitation. The means of production and distribution of goods and services are mainly in the hands of private individuals for example; Dangote Industries, Nigeria Breweries Limited, etc.
  5. Periodic Elections: Capitalist democracy promote periodic elections. Elections come up at periodic intervals, so that there should be no room for any president or a ruler for life. Majority rule must be respected and there must be respect for minority right.
  6. Majority Rule: In every capitalist democracy, majority carries the vote, in the sense that the will of the majority determined through free and fair elections must always holds. At the same time, the minority must also be allowed to have a say in the state affairs.


Competition for Power among Political Parties

Citizens and political parties compete for political office through the following means:

  1. Campaign: This is the series of planned activities that is intended or designed to achieve a particular political aim or result. In Nigerian election, the politicians in various parties use campaign to compete with the opposition parties. A lot of money is usually spent on the campaign in order to win the minds or hearts of the citizens. The aim of the campaign is to sell the party manifesto to the electorates.
  2. Manifesto: Manifesto is a written document which a group of people, especially political party, explain their beliefs and say what they will do if they win election. Politicians in various political parties convince the citizens to join their party through manifesto.
  3. Rallies: This refers to a large public meeting, especially one that is held outdoors to support political ideas, protest etc. It is used to arouse individual interest in political party or competition. It is a powerful instrument used to win the heart of the citizens towards a political party and to convince the voters on party programmes.
  4. Logo: This is the identification of symbol used for advertising a particular party. For instance, in Nigeria each political party has its own logo thus: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) logo is umbrella. All Progressives Congress (APC) logo is broom etc. Logo attracts the interest or attention of the citizens to a particular party. It helps in competing for power among political parties.
  5. Slogan: This refers to a word or phrase used in expressing the aim of a party or group. The slogan must be the positive one that will bring positive change towards the development a country. It is also used to win the heart of the citizens towards a particular party. It is used to compete for power among political parties.


Importance of Employment in Alleviating Poverty

Employment is the work a citizen does to earn a living. People can be employed by the government, private organization, company or be self employed. “However, for citizens to be employable, some aspects are to be taken into consideration.”

The following aspects are important to securing gainful employment in order to alleviate poverty:

  • Acquisition of skills.
  • Education.
  • Granting of loans.
  • Creation of industries.
  • Good government.


  1. Acquisition of skills: Skill acquisition is no doubt one of the major factors to be considered as way of alleviating poverty. When people get trained in a trade or acquire different kind of skills, it gives them confidence to start off their personal businesses. The importance of skill acquisition cannot be overruled. To establish this, the National Education Research and Development introduced several trade and entrepreneurial subjects into secondary school curriculum. This is to ensure that secondary school leavers are employable and can be self employed as well. For instance, anyone who has acquired hair dressing skills, auto-mechanical skills, sewing skills, catering skills, computer or mobile phone repairing skills etc; cannot be, jobless. Such people can make a living by deploying their skills, thereby reducing widespread poverty.
  2. Education: Education is often said to be the best legacy. An educated citizen stands the chance of gaining employment well over his/her uneducated counterpart. Formal education should be considered foremost even if a child will learn a trade. Scholarship can be granted to excelling students to encourage good performance. Free and compulsory education should be provided by the government as a long term plan to eradicate poverty. This is because an educated generation will sustain not only a country’s economy, but they will ensure continuity (i.e. teachers) by educating the subsequent generation.
  3. Granting of Loans: Granting or making loans available with little or no interest rate for skilled workers, farmers, individuals etc. can make a great difference in the economy of a country. With access to loans, any individual or young entrepreneur can start up a business and employ other people to work for them. An initiative like the Federal Government Loan Assisted Programme (FGLP), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) etc. are such effort by the government to provide employment and reduce poverty.
  4. Creation of Industry: Creation of more industries will definitely provide jobs and reduce poverty in the country. Encouraging both local and foreign investors will no doubt provide employment for young graduate and professionals. Also, industrialization has been known to better the lives of people, especially those living in rural areas. For instance, industries like oil companies usually employ indigenes while they single handedly finance pipe borne water and electricity projects for their host communities.
  5. Good Government: Good governance is no doubt the most crucial aspect to consider in creating employment for citizens. This is true for other reason than the fact that: government is in control of national resources, they make policies that could favour foreign and local investors who would in turn generate employment, they provide security and enabling environment for development etc. A country with good government will see to the welfare of its citizen by providing free education or educational scholarship, soft loans for farmers, skill development and entrepreneurial training and many more beneficial programmes to ensure a poverty free generation.