Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism

Length: 2 Pages 569 Words

Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism Federalism is a system where final decisions are dispersed among local governments representing specific and sometimes overlapping geographical areas. These governmental units have, as constituents, people of different social, political, moral and economic persuasions. Together with the idea of locally elected officials, self government, and diversity of interests, the federal system can be susceptible to manipulation by narrow local interests and legislation diluted by compromise at the expense of national or regional interests. On the other hand the strength of the federal system lies in its ability to provide access to governmental decision making by those affected. It provides power to all levels of government, requires political flexibility and protects individual liberty. As James Continue...


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But these units in a large republic would be so many that they would actually provide more opportunities for relevant issues to be recognized and heard. Every great movement started in some local area and spread as they consolidated their powers. These ideas and policies ultimately have an effect on other states and often result in a change in national policy that brings all the states into conformity. The system of federal government has, therefore, resulted in a disparity in equality and participation. Madison argues in the Federalist papers: the smaller the unit of government, the easier it would be for a single interest to dominate it. Meanwhile, no state or political entity is unfairly dominated or affected by changing values in another area. Most people still control the institutions and spending programs closest to them such as schools, land use and even how Federal (national) funds are spent in their area. The federal system allows for such competition to take place. Politics by definition is competition between competing interest groups. This system of government may even get more complicate as more political interest define themselves and organize and obtain access to political resources. The American sense of external political legitimacy is wheat keeps the country together despite rancorous political conflict that seems to surround every public policy question. But these differences are a result of participation in the decision-making process, albeit for conflicting and opposite results. On the up side, there is a competition of sorts among the states in the area of public policy, a market place of social experimentation. Criteria for welfare, legal sanctions, spending programs are quite different among the states and sometimes even among counties.