Elections are the foundation of democracy that gives people the power to choose their representatives. Elections can be broadly categorized into two types: local elections and general elections. Local elections and general elections are different in many ways. In this article, we will explain the difference between local and general elections.
A local election is held to elect representatives to a local authority like parish, town, or city councils, school boards, or county councils. Local elections are usually held every year or every other year, depending on the country's constitution. The primary objective of a local election is to choose representatives who will be responsible for managing local services efficiently.
On the other hand, a general election is held to elect representatives to the national government, like senators, members of parliament, congressmen, or the president. General elections are held once every few years depending on the country's constitution. The primary objective of a general election is to elect representatives who will be responsible for the governance of the entire country.
One of the significant differences between local and general elections is the number of officials elected. In local elections, the number of officials elected is typically lower than that of general elections. Local elections are confined to a specific area, such as a town or city, while general elections are national campaigns.
Another significant difference between local and general elections is the scope of issues faced by the elected officials. In local elections, officials are elected to address local issues like garbage collection, street maintenance, and local taxes. Elected officials in a general election, on the other hand, must address national issues like unemployment, economic development, education, and national security.
In general elections, political parties often take the center stage, while in local elections, individual candidates may be more important. Political parties usually have well-known political figures who lead their party, and their policies are well established. In contrast, local elections are more personalized affairs, and candidates may campaign more on their individual merits than on the party they represent.
In local elections, people in the community tend to be more familiar with the candidates. This is because they often encounter them personally as they campaign or attend events in the community. Candidates in local elections may also be more accessible to the public, and they tend to focus more on grassroots campaigning. The candidates may also make use of signs, flyers, and door to door canvassing. On the other hand, in general elections, candidates may focus more on mass media campaigns such as television advertisements and speaking engagements.
One of the most significant differences between local and general elections is the number of voters that participate. Local elections tend to have a lower turnout than general elections. This may be because the issues discussed in local elections are often not as closely followed by the media compared to the issues discussed in general elections. Also, people tend to have more knowledge about the parties in general elections, while in local elections, the individual candidates have more weight.
In conclusion, local elections and general elections have many differences, including the number of officials elected, and the scope of issues faced by the elected officials. Also, the focus of the campaigns, the accessibility of the candidates, and the number of voters that participate differ. Local elections usually deal with local issues, elect local officials and are more personalized affairs. General elections, on the other hand, deal with national issues, and elect officials who will govern the entire country. Overall, both local and general elections have significant roles in shaping people's lives by giving them the power to choose their representatives.