Rights and responsibilities of a citizen.


Citizenship is the association, through legal means, with a certain state. As a citizen one has the right to live, work and participate in the political aspects and contents of the state. As a citizen one has various rights that are inclusive of the right to participate in elections and the right to talk and voice your opinions on how the government should handle what is to be done locally and internationally.

In the text “The Responsibility of Citizenship” written by Papadomichelaki, the author tries to show what citizenship is and their responsibilities, but also tries to show that something should have or should be done about what as a citizen one ought to do. Papadomichelaki tries to explain that a Bill of Responsibilities should be made in order to show as a citizen what one is supposed to do.

“People become citizens of the United States by birth and seemingly have no other responsibility but to pay taxes and follow the laws given “the author says. According to the definition of citizenship it is more than just obeying and following the law or paying taxes, some of the responsibilities of an American citizen are: give up all prior allegiance to any other nation, swear allegiance to the United States, support and defend the constitution, they have to register and take part in elections and (not all responsibilities given) tolerance and respect for every human race or religion ( Niklaus,127).

The writer shows that sadly not all take part in the elections, only half percent do, based on the democratic state of the nation. Adding on to the poor voter turnout, most of those that come to vote have little or no knowledge of their candidates only information they have is the little they get from TV advertisements and reference from other people. Most people listen to the most compelling and ignore those of substance in reference to the Kennedy/Nixon presidential debate. People often miss the essential things that might have effect in their society.

Papadomichekali talks about the need for Bill of Responsibilities and its first amendment to be, people should vote and more to that be fully informed about what is going on and the qualities and aspirations of each candidate. This is possible through research and acquiring information through discussions. The second amendment to the Bill should be democratic involvement. Involvement being; taking part in important debates among allies, coming before legislature and addressing these issues and going beyond what the law grants to you as your rights to participation. The author shows no excuse is good enough to be pardoned from not involving oneself in state affairs. But the naysayers, as he calls them, would oppose the Bill and claim to be busy with their personal affairs. Lack of participation has adverse effects not only to the immediate nation but whole world. Political efficacy decline is a risk to the nation (Nabatchi, 4).

Papadomichelaki also shows that the real challenge to the Bill of Responsibilities would be its implementation. To some the penalties would be a violation of the right to choose what to do. The first step tough would be to change the perception that people have towards citizenship. Democracy state was hard to achieve and people have to stop taking it for granted. The author presses on that the bill should be made so as to ensure maximum participation. Democracy means people have the ability to hold power but also they should not be ignorant to what is required of them as citizens. Citizenship is not free and with rights comes responsibilities too.

Cited work;

Steiner, Niklaus. International migration and citizenship today. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Nabatchi, Tina, and Bloomington University. Deliberative democracy the effects of participation on political efficacy. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University, 2007. Print.



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