The basic definition of the term “Federalism” is interpreted with varying viewpoint depending on different areas. In the areas of Europe, the term federalist is mostly used at those areas that have a great favor for federal government's plans and ideas. The matters of the federal government could be different. They could be national, be religious and even supranational. Mostly, Europeans are consistently trying to prolong this thinking of federalists throughout the European Union. Among other important members to this federalism, one is Winston Churchill whose initiative for this federalism was started in the year of 1946 at the city of Zurich. At the same time, federalism is a global political system in which there occurs two governmental levels containing an information related to the geographical area and also, information about overall population. These federal states that are based on central government exists in smaller political units known as states or region. The basic aim of these smaller political units is to provide unbiased or flawless information to the central government. Federalism plays a vital role in democracy having a constitution (Sagar, 1-22).
Since the United States of America is concerned, related to the federal system both central government and also the state government can easily make or change different laws. The lines of authority have been defined between the both in US (Thomas).Population are required to obey this law and regulation made by legislature, lawmakers and the Congress. This federal system is required to divide the use of power or power resources equally between central government and state government related to specific conditions or criteria. However, these conditions or criteria are mostly applied by the central government. But according to the federal system, different provinces of the country or different states get their equal portion of power resources. Some other examples of countries that mostly follow the federal system among their states are Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and Switzerland. Whereas, there are countries that do not follow this federal system rather they prefer to work along with the system of central government. In this, each and every authority or autonomy or use of power is given to the central government. Thus, in these countries, central government system has more power than that of the federal system. Numerous attempts have been made theoretically to define Federalism concept and due to its long history, many literatures could be found about it (Gamper, 1297-1318).
Indigenous communities were dominated in the federal government of Canada in 2nd half of the 20th century. Their attentions were much associated with bureaucratic set-up that used to target culture of different tribes. Even then, they were survived with amendments in political claims in last four decades. The federal actions relinquished previous policies that facilitated for amendment in the political environment that was favorable to indigenous claims in Canada. In addition, Canadian federal government focused on the termination of the policy that was imposed by the White Paper issued in 1971. These decisions attained support of indigenous communities due to funding by various political organizations. Moreover, these actions facilitated federalism of Canada in many aspects. It made tribal leaders stop their defensive war due to protection of their basic rights. This also legalized them to participate more actively in future strategies (Steinman, 98-123).
Before reviewing different advantages of the federal system, we need to clear the discussion that has been started related to the federal system. Many people think that the federal system is quite complex having a slow tendency to put or create any change in it. It also leads to an uneven or some disturbed revolution; that creates some disturbance or bad situation among different religions or ethnic groups. It mainly increases the time span and hardship of duties and responsibilities and also, the element of power resources that is dedicated to only governmental institutions could be very harmful due to miss-use of those resources. However, with such criticisms that have been made on the federal system in which some of them could be true, and some could be wrong. But help that has been provided by the federal system to the central government (experienced by many countries) in the form of help or assistance for different religions, cultures, countries and people. It is helpful in an environment where states have been institutionalized and are deeply embedded in societies (Ziblatt 70–98).
Another advantage of the federal system is the representation that is given to different populations or cultures. People of different states or provinces can easily get inspiration from any good areas and are free to follow any culture. The system of federal approves to be quite flexible as they can adopt any culture or rule as required for the well-functioning of citizens and also for the states or provinces. With the help of the federal system, the basic role is given to the regional government so that each and every sector or region gets its facility. The state government mainly gives the distribution of loans, policies, facilities provided by regional government. Basic rights and protection for the minorities are major elements for the federal system. Another advantage of the federal system is related to the managing of local affairs through a regional government. In this way, central government is required to invest and give their full concentration towards international matters or affairs. While this regional government (federal government) controls overall situation that occurs within cities or different regions/sectors. This system also provide a way for the selection of better and good decision among different plans or ideas made by different governmental structure to groom. If two local governments intend to deploy their methods or to plan related to their regions, they can easily apply their planning to their regions. This planning or idea could be on different projects, either it could be on the proper system for taxation or it could be for the better system of education. Among these different ideas, proper and the most appropriate idea or plan is selected. Federal system also helps to promote plans and ideas for the betterment of security system within the state or province. It also creates common values among different citizens that help for the protection of democratic values, creating such platforms so that any difference among people are removed, and any of the unfortunate people is given full concentration. Through this way, government becomes closer to the people. Federalism is thus a mix of different systems (Thomas; Ziblatt 70–98).
Above mentioned advantages could be easily observed in various countries, and that are helping greatly to many governments. But, having such advantages there are also some disadvantages, as well. Among other disadvantages, one is contradictory decisions or policies that are mostly made by governments. Also, a major disadvantage of this system is the making of inequality among different regions or states that mainly helps in for such disturbed scenarios which leads to the element of rivalry and jealousy. The matter of sharing of power between central government and that of regional government has many advantages and also, disadvantages. Sharing of work or duties could be changed into some overlapping conditions, and no government likes to admit such bad conditions that happen to states or provinces. With this federal system, more people use to be elected for the post of governing, and they must be provided offices. This aspect gives a great burden to the state, and central government and more expenses are required to be made in order to facilitate the elected people. That is why, most people have of opinion that this system must be used or applied by the rich countries. With the election of so many representatives, there occurs an overlapping among duties thus resulting in a great amount of corruption. Raising of competition among different states or provinces could enlarge the rivalry and abhorrence among regional and central governments due to the distribution of responsibilities. In this condition, a particular state or even a country could be in a great danger. Different regions have different needs (resources, industries, employment opportunities) from other regions. Federal system does not help in providing an equal platform or facility for every region to make their needs for its citizens. Rich states or regions can afford more facilities to their citizens, and they provide each and every opportunity to their citizens for their good future while poor states are lower in expenses and cost. Therefore, they cannot manage to prepare such facilities to their citizen for their future. Thus, there occurs a gap between rich and poor. Without highly structuration of subunits, the concept of federalism may not be possible (Thomas; Ziblatt 70–98).
Conclusively, there occurs a need for international and also local social bodies or organizations to work for their society so that there occurs decrease of burden upon any government either central or regional. This will helps the government to ease itself from the burdens of managing economic matters, security and proper structuring of society. Also, changes after some regular time intervals within government could be harmful not only for the government but also for the country and states in it. Nowadays, nearly 40% of the world's population is living under the rule of the federal system, and this number is increasing accordingly. Most of the countries are given a broad coincidental and opportunity to their states to work independently and work for their citizens or local people. Federalism is not a dead end for every problem, but it is a way through which we can decrease the number of problems that are occurring or that have occurred so far. I would recommend to any non-federal governmental country to adopt such system within the country to give freedom to its states. Consequently, there occurs a decrease within any corruption, security issues and an increase in job and better life opportunities for the people.
Gamper, Anna, “A “Global Theory of Federalism”: The Nature and Challenges of a Federal State”, German Law Journal, 6.10, (2005):1297-1318, Print.
Sagar, Arun 2011, “Constitutional Interpretation in Federations and its Impact on the Federal Balance”, Perspectives on Federalism, 3.1 (2011):1-22, Print
Steinman, Erich, “Indigenous Nationhood Claims and Contemporary federalism in Canada and the United States”, Policy and Society, 24(1), (2006): 98-123, Print
Thomas, R. Kenneth. Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power. Congressional Research Service, 2013. Web. <http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30315.pdfhttp://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30315.pdf>
Ziblatt, Daniel “Rethinking the origins of federalism puzzle, theory, and Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Europe”, World Politics, 57, (2004), 70–98, Print.