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Poli 330n week 3 assignment

This is a graded discussion: 20 points possible

 THE DIVISION OF POWER

As we have seen through our readings, governments differ on where the power of the state should be held.

Unitary systems concentrate the power within the central government and little or no authority is granted to the component areas. In contrast, federal systems allow first-order civil divisions to have some autonomy, while the central government maintains authority over some areas.

Take a moment to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each system.

Divisions of Power

The unitary system from our text, is the centralization of power in a nation’s capital with little autonomy for subdivisions (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros, & Jones, 2014, p. 55). This system has the control and makes the decisions over citizen’s lives (taxes, education, and laws) and the local leaders. With this type of system, conflicts arise due to possible corruption, the government not seeing that regional areas may not be as economically sound as another region, different cultural preferences and values that regions may want to remain intact, and laws, health, and education initiatives that the government enforces may not be what the different local regional areas believe will work for their communities. This system appears that local regions and citizens do not have any say in how their areas are run without approval from the centralized government.

The federal system has more of a hand in dividing the power structure. This system encourages local government to assist with the regional areas while the central government watches over and guides the national issues (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros, & Jones, 2014, p. 59). Under a federal system the central government has the authority over defense, monetary, and foreign policy. The regions or states (U.S.) have control regarding education, local issues, roads, and local laws. A reason that this system seems to work is that a better view of what is important to the citizens is understood better, when local government has first-hand knowledge of what is going on in their own areas and what is important to these local areas and citizens.

Whereas, the unitary system (centralized government) puts a blanket over all the citizens. Although the federal system works there are pitfalls as well. Local governments may not have the resources to fund needed programs to assist the citizens. Local governments depend on needed federal funds and these funds can be withheld at most any time if the local government does not carry out the federal laws that may be enacted. Such as, when Washington threatened to withhold federal highway funds to states that did not raise the legal age of drinking to 21 (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros, & Jones, 2014, p. 60). Also, as with most systems there is the pitfall of corruption.

One advantage of a unitary system is that there are clear lines of authority, but a central government is not always best equipped to deal with localized concerns. In contrast, a federal system allows the government closest to the problem to deal with it. However, sometimes there are coordination problems because local governments may lack resources to deal with problems.

So which do you feel allows for more stability within the government? Which is more flexible? And after all is said and done, which one do you prefer?

Professor Terwilliger,

There are a few different types of government throughout the world. Let’s start with a Unitary System which is described as (Centralization of power in a nation’s capital with little autonomy for subdivision’s.) (Roskin 55) With all the power coming out of a central government this can lead to a lot of discontent within the Nation or State. Since they have no voice in the outcome of their city or village. It does make it easier to take swift action during times of need or disturbance’s such as a revolt. This system makes it difficult for the Central city to manage the outlying areas since they don’t have any representation out there.

Federalism is a (Balancing of power between a nation’s capital and autonomous subdivision’s, such as U.S. states.) (Roskin 55) This system allows the areas outside of the Capital city to be managed by Governor’s and smaller governing bodies with their own constitution’s. (This also gives component states powers that can’t be overridden by the federal government.) (Roskin,59) This system also helps keep the federal government in check. An advantage to joining the federalist state is that you have access to resources for development as in Highway’s. They also have access to military forces for protection. The states have to pay taxes to have access to all the federal resources. With the states having individual power and choices this allows experimentation with changes to government policy regulations without a major effect to the national state. Such as Marijuana in Colorado and other states.  Although the federal government didn’t agree with it the state voted it in. the federal government can punish them by holding back federal money for projects.

I think the federal system is more stable since things can be controlled on a smaller level without it spreading through the whole nation. If all decisions are made centrally then the choice if for the whole nation and much more difficult to control. Containment can be more difficult.

Roskin, Michael G., Robert Cord, James Medeiros, Walter Jones. Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 10/2013. VitalBook file.

The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.

Hi Travis! You made a great point when you stated that the states are voting on whether or not marijuana should be legal and that the federal government cannot intervene with their decisions. It reminds me of the opposite instance that happened with same-sex marriage. Back in 2015 the Supreme Court, “ruled that states must license same-sex marriages and also recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states” (Gorman, 6/26/15). Originally it was individual states that were making same-sex marriage legal and then this issue was taken over on a national level.

Reference:

Gorman, M. (2015, June 26). Gay Marriage Is Legal in All 50 States: Supreme Court. Retrieved November 06, 2017, from http://www.newsweek.com/supreme-court-gay-marriage-legal-all-50-states-347204

Hi Kandice, the point you made regarding same sex marriage is a great example of the opposite that occurred in Colorado regarding marijuana. On the other side of the spectrum, the federal government superseded the state laws and issued a national law that required all 50 states to legalized same sex marriage. Federalism allows for autonomy of the states as well as unity of the states through laws and regulations.

Travis and Jasmine, 

Great posts. You both gave great example regarding marijuana usage and same sex marriage. Unitary form of government is a government in which center has the supreme power. Local body may have some powers but center has the sovereignty over entire nation. Greece  , Ukraine, South Korea are examples of this form of government. This system is more responsible than federation. It is an important principle of this form of state that responsibility is fixed in the defined institution. This system is more responsible than federation. It is an important principle of this form of state that responsibility is fixed in the defined institutions. Central legislature is responsible for legislation, executive for implementation and judiciary for adjudication.

Hello Travis, this was a great post. It was very informative. I am responding to you because I agree with you. I think the federal system is more stable and things can be handled on a more personal level. I don’t think certain decisions can be made to fit every state. Some things just won’t apply to every state. With the Marijuana being legalized in certain states, I didn’t think how the government may punish them. I would hope the government wouldn’t be that selfish to withhold funds for important things because they passed a law they don’t agree with. Unfortunately I’m a firm believer that things like this has happened already. Great Post!
Travis,

     Great post!!!! I was not aware that the Federal government retains grant monies etc. I guess that would make since if you do not follow their specific rules. Its almost like they are taking the keys to the child’s car in order to have them follow the house rules. Everyone, however, should be able to choose how they would like to live, Obviously, with some type of reasonable moral guidelines. I also back the Federal system, again Great post!!!

Unitary government is a kind of government system in which a single power, which is known as the central government, controls the whole government. In fact, all powers and administrative divisions authorities lies at the central place. Today most of the government system in the world are based on unitary system of government. It is slightly different from federal states and con-federal states. In unitary government, central government has the power to broadened or narrowed the power of sub-national units. It can create and abolished the same up to his will. It can be in form of unitary republic or unitary monarchy. Afghanistan, Italy, Zambia Ukraine, etc. are examples of unitary republic government while Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Morocco, Spain, etc are examples of unitary monarchy government. The unitary government system is based on the concept of consistency, unity, and identity that’s why the centralization of power and authority system remains at the top priority. The decision-making power rest with the central government that are shared by the government with the lower level government when needed. There are not so many options for change and new innovation as the people have a very limited voice in this government system. There are many merits and demerits of unitary government. It is useful in the term that rules and regulations in this government systems remain consists and equal throughout the country. Moreover, it is less expensive as compared to the federal government because the number of powerful people remains very low.  In a time of emergency, it makes timely decisions as compared to the federal government system. But at the same time, the concept of freedom of speech and expression always remains at a low priority that’s why most of the principles of unitary government are much similar to that of dictatorship system of government.

I prefer the federal government because,no modern country can be governed from a single location only. The affairs of municipalities and rural areas must be left to the administration of local governments.

https://www.differencebtw.com/difference-between-federal-and-unitary-government/

Professor Terwilliger and Classmates

The unitary system places power in one central governing system where all major government decisions are made by the central government. Many unitary systems are either Totalitarian or Dictatorship.

Other countries that have the unitary system in place do not allow for the peoples opposing views or rights. Many of the countries I speak about are of the Middle east; Iraq & Iran are an example. I would not be able to tolerate their control. No liberty and justice for all is not part of their vocabulary or shall I say way of life.

The federal governing system balances power from the government to local or state governments to adopt laws that are fair and sensible to the country as a whole and its localities.

Our country, the USA is a federal governing system . I prefer our countries government because it seeks to ensure our citizens have the resources that are fair and equitable. We the people are able to decide which rules are constitutional or unconstitutional. United we stand is one of our countries mottos and that is my belief as well.

In our book it states Unitary governments control local authorities and citizens lives more than Federal system’s do. (Roskin 2014 Ch. 4 pg. 56).

Reference

Roskin, M. J.,Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., & Jones, W. S. Political Science: An Introduction (13th Edition) (2014)

Greetings Damaris, 

I prefer the federal system especially when I think of the judicial system where if a individual received a unfair trial or outcome they can appeal to a higher court for a retrial or review of proceedings. All to some local decisions can affect the outcome of the global market if given case specific privileges such as if the age to drink or smoke was case specific in certain populations it could increase death tolls across state lines or look  bias due to the privilege of some. I think it is a good idea to have someone governing what local officials do; we all should have someone to answer for the decisions we make for others especially.

Damaris, 

I enjoyed your post because it was easy to relate to. The unitary system is not a system that I would want to be a part of. The unitary system does not watch out for the people. In my opinion, having a totalitarian or dictatorship is not a system I would want to live under. Unitary form of Government is a converse of federation and is a system in which all powers are centralized in the hands of a central government. A single central government controls the whole state with full might. The federal government although it has its own flaws is the better government because it is more centered around the people and seems more fair.

Damaris,

Great post, I agree that one huge plus to a federal government is the liberties and services offered to citizens.  Having a voice, a voice that is heard is a characteristic of federal systems that is priceless in my opinion.  As I tell my children, we all have a voice and an opinion and it is our right to share in a respectful manner.  Having the choice to disagree with that opinion, also is freedom we all employ.

Michelle

Hello,

The unitary system allows for more stability within the government, and the federal system is more flexible. Unitary systems have more control over things such as funding and taxing.  They usually cost less to run.  Everyone receives the same thing equally.  But this is still the concept of one size fitting all or most.  In federal systems, their is a focus on the community needs of the locals.  I prefer federal systems.  The needs of my community is not the same as that of a rural community or a larger are such as Los Angeles.  But some of the issues with federal systems are corruption and deciding which level of government has jurisdiction.  We see saw that happen in my community with hurricane Katrina as to who’s responsibility it was to provide funds to repair the city.  We are seeing the same thing happen in Puerto Rico.  Although it has its drawbacks, I still prefer the federal system.

Hi Robyn,

I agree that the unitarian systems cost less to run and that those being governed by such a system receive a one size fits all mentality. I prefer the federalist way of doing things where there are local governments that represent the people and elected officials that help all the people have a voice. I like the flexibility of the federalist system because I have my own opinions and beliefs and I like to celebrate the fact that we are different. By making everyone the same we would lose our autonomy and I think poverty and defeat would set in. People wouldn’t try to better themselves by furthering their education because they would be stuck in the job assigned to them. No Thanks!

Thanks, A’lon

Robyn and Alon:

You both make excellent points in your discussion.  Robyn in our system today, it is the local governments’ responsibility to take care of the situation until they know that they are overwhelmed, and they ask for further assistance.  If my local fire department is not able to handle a fire, they request help from other communities because the resources are not available. FEMA and other agencies are there to assist the local government once asked, they do not come and help until that point.

If the government would step in right away there would be no need to a local community to have the resources and just think if we did not have the local resources.  This is where we could lose our autonomy.  Would they look at the lowly of people and listing to their thoughts. It would be a world of further poverty as those in power would have it all.

Robyn,

I also prefer the federal system. Not only does it step in and help the local governments when needed, it helps to protect us from the local governments as well. Take our court system for example. If we feel like we received an injustice in our court proceedings , we cab appeal to a higher, federal court. Our federal laws help to protect us in many ways. I for one am thankful for our federal system.

Hello professor and class!

As with any many things there are pros and cons to both unitary systems and federal systems in government.  I personally like the idea behind the federal system as this system functions as a more local level which is where the issues are.  I feel this draws communities and local regions to work and be more involved with one another with this type of system.  This is huge because big blanketed rules and decisions often don’t relate to small local areas.  The negative to this side of government is that it often lacks in the support system that it often depends on to function properly such as funding.  The government has the ability to decide what help it will give and what it wont.  I feel there is a significantly higher amount of corruption found in the unitary system of government.

Roskin, M. J.,Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., & Jones, W. S. Political Science: An Introduction (13th Edition) (2014)

Hey William,

First, let me commend you for such a great post, was fun to read as it is informative. I do agree with you on two things, One, the idea behind the federal system is awesome and i can attest to its advantages. With it, the nation will prosper and be united by the federal government as a whole.

Secondly, there is a higher level of corruption in unitary system of government. I mean everybody there just care for themselves. Little or no interest is made on the subjects as they are majorly affected by the laws implemented.

Hello William, 

Great post.  I also agree in liking a federal system.  I like that in this type of system as individual states we have the ability to make decisions that aren’t blanket decisions for the whole country.  Communities can come together and make decisions that are best for that area.  When help is needed and requested from the government, you would hope that fair rules apply making it equal between all states.

Professor and class, 

It is my opinion that the federal system allows for more stability within the government. I say this because this system has the local government with its people, where it needs to be. The government can see what is going on with its people and therefore make adjustments as needed. As stated in our book, “Citizens are closest to their local governments, where they can influence officials and see how decisions are made.” (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros, and Jones, 2014, pg 59). As for flexibility, I guess that depends on who is being the flexible one… If the flexibility is in favor of the government, then the unitary system would be more flexible. In that system, government has the power to do what it pleases. If the flexibility is in favor of the people, then the federal system would work better. The system that I prefer is the federal system. This is my preference because the people actually have a say in what happens. The people can influence what happens in their community because the government is living and seeing what is happening.

Reference

Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., Jones, W. S. (10/2013). Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781269724821

Hello Angela, great post! I am responding to your post because I tool think the federal system is better.I say this because things happen in my community where the government has tried to be involved. They made things worse. As a city we voted to have every move or decision made by the people of the city. I feel the government doesn’t live here so how would they know what’s right for us. They tried to throw a little money at the situation but the city wasn’t having it. Like the quote says, we work closely with our officials here to make things happen. It has been working for years and I think it should stay that way! Once again, Great Post!
Hello Angela!

Great post and very informative read.  I have to say I agree with you as far as your opinions on the federal system.  The federal system just seems to be more stable and with it being more local the people the system can work better for the individual needs of each area.

Angela,

The federal system is also my preference. We as citizens are able to make decisions for our local communities. We also have the duty to elect the officials that make changes on a larger scale. They represent us on a state and national level. Thus we each have a say on all levels of government. This is a great freedom that we have. Those that choose not to exercise their right to vote void their ability to make change in my opinion.

Scott

What type of government is best will all depend on the country in question. In my own opinion, both forms of democracy work well and the manner of telling which one is more effective at maintaining stability, order and economic progress will depend upon varying factors. One of which include the size of the nation. For smaller countries, it might be better to have the unitary system where there is a central government overseeing everything and all laws are uniform. For most countries that are larger, like the United States, having a federal type of government which consists of a central government and a bunch of local governments is preferable. Different parts of states in a big country can vary greatly in culture, population, geography, needs and etc. Having the same exact policies for such different states would be very illogical hence, it is better to give autonomy to local governments since it allows the existence of more specialized and specific policies.
Hi Erika, 

You make a really good point.  Depending on the size of the country a unitary system may work better in smaller countries.  If the country is small, the main government controlling things may make for less chaos than individual areas/states having their own local governments.

Although, even in small countries areas may prefer to have their own say apart from the central government.  I think alot goes into this, some countries people may not know what to do with that kind of control or freedom when that is not what they are used to.

Christina 

Erika, you make valid point when you describe the various sizes in countries. The first thing that I thought of was that North Korea is a small country with a unitary system. I am pretty sure that if those people knew that there was another option, or another way to live, that they would choose to do so. On paper, the unitary system sounds great, but I think when it is implemented in real life, it turns into communism.
Professor Terwilliger,

 I think the federal system allows for more stability. By dividing the power structure between local and central, it allows more stability within the government by sharing responsibilities. The federal system is more flexible, it promotes interaction with local government. Citizens are closest to their local government,  where they can influence officials and see how decisions are made. It may lead to duplication of services, but I think it’s better than citizens ignoring the local affairs. As a citizen I like to be near and see how things are done, so I prefer the federal system (Roskin, Cord, Medeiros, & Jones, 2014, p. 59).

Roskin, M, Cord, R, Medeiros, J, & Jones, W. (2014). Political Science:

         An introduction (13th ed). Hoboken, N.J.: Pearson.

Professor, 

     This a very interesting week for me taking the time to learn the different systems as politics has always been on my personal backburner. To answer your question, I do feel that the Federal system may be more stable for the simple fact that I just believe that human nature keeps us from trying to be controlled. I would fear some type of revolt within the society as many Unitary systems end up resulting in a dictatorship( apec (Links to an external site.)s.org, 2015). I also prefer the Federal system as  it It includes parties, elections, public opinion, and executive and legislative behavior (Roskin, 2013). I like to feel as I have somewhat of a say so in what is happening in our society.

Reference-

Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., James A. Medeiros, Jones, W. S. (10/2013). Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781269724821/

Hi Professor and class! There are several differences between a unitary system and a federal system. In a unitary system, “governments control local authorities and citizens’ lives more than federal systems do” (Roskin, 10/2013, p. 56). That is one of the main and biggest differences in the two systems.

            Some of the pros and cons of a unitary system are in many cases, authority can be ridiculously overbearing in that not even a bus stop or traffic light can be installed without permission from the capital. This can lead to citizens ignoring local problems and feeling a sense of political alienation. However, having such straightforward lines of power can be useful when it comes to taxes and economic resources. Taxes are the same throughout the nation. Also, standards on education can be uniform and high, such as in Japan. (Roskin, 10/2013, p. 58).

With Federal systems, “the crux of a federal system is that the component states have some powers that cannot be easily overridden by the central government” (Roskin, 10/2013, p. 59). In federal systems also the central government has complete control over policies regarding monetary, defense, and foreign issues. The states themselves will control smaller issues such as highways, education, police, and affairs that are close to home. National security is a huge plus when it comes to federal systems because some of the smaller states may not be able to protect themselves against an attack from a larger body. Also, a federal system can help boast unity within a nation. In a federal system, people are more involved in local government because they can personally feel included in making changes on a government level.

Reference:

Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., Jones, W. S. (10/2013). Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781269724821

Kandice:

The national security is a huge plus as you state in your discussion.  This system also allows protection or help from the Central Government as well.  If there would be a major disaster in my small town and not have enough resources to control the problem.  My local government is responsible to start with but if they are unable to handle the situation they can go through the steps for help all the way to the Nation’s Capital.  This is the unique property of this system in that it can work both ways for the people involved. We see it almost every day with the declaration from the president for disaster relief. This relief is in money or response of the DMAT teams to these areas.

Rory

Hi Rory! I was just thinking the same thing you stated while I was reading your post. It made me think about all of the disasters we’ve had, especially in the past few months, and how that particular area was not able to handle it by itself and needed help from the federal government. We should be very grateful that we have a government that works the way it does especially in this sense. I could not imagine what other countries do if they have a natural disaster, or disaster of any kind, and are unable to handle the magnitude of it locally. There are many efforts throughou
  • Hello Kandice!

    Great post and very good read!  I also agree with you that unitary systems seem very overbearing.  I am much more in favor of the federal systems.  I never really thought about the national security aspect of this system till your post and I have to say that is huge in todays time.

    Professor and Class,

    Both unitary and federal government systems are defined by the relationship between the national government, representing the nation as a whole, and any subsections of the national government including states and provinces.  The United States defines these examples by being a unitary government that is the country holding one central government overseeing the entire country as a whole but maintains a federal government component by allowing the constituent states and provinces to hold local government powers within their scope.

    Differences between the two systems are obvious.  Federal governments have strong central powers, but power is diffused throughout the states and provinces.  Much authority is given to those territories to develop laws and enforce those rules and laws as a local government.  Unitary governments are generally seen in countries where nationalism is prevalent.  Additionally, communism has also played a role in the government, either currently or in the past, speaking toward the style of a unitary system.  Japan and Eastern European countries are some examples to this form of leadership.  There is a lack of hierarchy of powers and there is no authority to pass laws among smaller/local governments within the larger administration.

    A more specific example of unitary control is that of the education system in France where the education ministry drafts school curriculums in order to reduce regional differences in language and culture (Roskin, p. 56).  The opposite of that style is that of the United States of America that delegates the educational responsibility to State and local responsibilities (www2.ed.gov).

    I do not have a concrete opinion as to which style of government is more stable when compared to the other and which of the styles works better; however, if having to choose between the two, I’d prefer to live within the Federal style of government.  Not every part of our country is the same.  There are smaller cultures within our large culture that need specific recognition, such as that of American Indians.  I understand they are governed somewhat differently within the national laws, but without those smaller governments, their culture would struggle; possibly fail.  If we were all governed under the unitary styles, perhaps the citizens would be more likely to revolt if other cultures, opinions, etc. were realized by citizens.  This piggybacks onto last week’s discussion that if all media, entertainment, education was controlled by the government, and would those living in the country be clued in to what is going on outside the country borders?  If they were clued in to the outside world, I think the chance for a revolt perhaps increases?

    – Dana

    http://www.lewishistoricalsociety.com/wiki/tiki-print_article.php?articleId=136 (Links to an external site.)

    https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html (Links to an external site.)

    Roskin, M., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., & Jones, W. S. (2014). Political science: an introduction (13th ed.). Pearson.

    Dana,

    To add to your thoughts on unitary and federal systems, there are strengths and weaknesses to both. The strengths of a unitary system, according to Roskin (10/2013) are strong educational systems, less arguing among the different levels of government, specific authorities for the entire nation, and taxes are the same across the board so as to decrease someone’s ability to move to an area  to avoid paying higher taxes. Weaknesses of a unitary system would be where the strengths of a federal system come into play. The federal system allows for a more local government to decide on smaller things, like local taxes, etc.

    I agree with you. I am not sure which system is the best, but I do believe that each system works for specific countries. For a country as large as the United States, it only makes sense to have a federal government where each state can regulate certain things within that state, but then the central/federal government can regulate those things which need to be uniform across the nation. Some countries do better with a unitary government, such as in France and Japan, where their unitary system has survived the ages.

    Leona

    References:

    Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., Jones, W. S. (10/2013). Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781269724821

    Leona and Dana,

    I also agree with you both. I don’t know which type of government is better, and both have many strengths and weaknesses. But as Dana mentioned, i feel that one style of government is not fit for all. What works for a large country such as the United States is most likely not going to be the best for the lesser developed countries of the world. I honestly see great points

    Brandy,

    There are definitely pros and cons to both types of government. It just depends on the size of the country and regions within that country that determine how well it works. If it is a small nation with that same amount of people as a state in the U.S., say Tennessee, then a unitary system may work best for them rather than a federal system. There may not be the need for the spread of power to the different regions. However, just as we have local, state, and national government levels, it seems that even the smallest countries would benefit from at least having a local and national government. The local government could maintain the issues that arise, like the red lights and stop signs, and allow the national government to control things like taxes, laws, etc. Just a thought.

    Leona

    Professor Terwilliger and Class,

    Unitary vs. Federal: Take a moment to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each system.

    Unitary:

    According to Roskin (2014), Unitary governments control local authorities and citizen’s lives more than federal systems do. They have a national police force and court system. The strongest criticism of this form of government is that it is usually “absurdly overcentralized”. This does not allow for effective response to more localized needs. This can lead to factionalism that falls upon cultural or religious lines, as the central government attempts to be a representational amalgamate of all peoples, but ends up meeting the needs of none. In the end, many will end up disenfranchised, as a strong central government can’t meet the immediate needs and concerns of all citizens. The strengths in a unitary system are found in its ability to streamline and economize rule. There are one set of standards for things such as education, taxation, rule of law, etc. Legislation is efficient, as the number of parties lobbying for their interests are fewer. Ultimately, unitary governments can be viewed as “heavy handed” in their “one size fits all” mentality of legislation and rule.

    Federal:

    According to Roskin (2014), Federalism gives first order civil divisions (such as the states) much autonomy while the central government runs areas that are inherently national. Indeed, in our federal system, the central government has exclusive control over foreign relations (State Department), defense (Department of Defense), and monetary policy (the Fed). The federal system has many more inherent benefits than limitations. Although it is not as fast and efficient as unitary style governments, it has the advantage of being truly representational of the people. The empowerment of the states, under this system, allows for local concerns (or state level concerns) to receive national attention, thus making the central government truly responsive the wants and needs of the populace. Also, considerable autonomy is given to the states, again allowing for local power to meet local need. However, there is some risk of duplicating services provided by both federal and state governments. The federal system also appears to be less “heavy handed” in its style of rule. Its powers are limited by the Constitution, which also gives powers to the states “not reserved for the federal government”.

    So which do you feel allows for more stability within the government? Which is more flexible? And after all is said and done, which one do you prefer?

    In my opinion, federalism is the more stable of the two. I also believe that our federal system is a most stable form of federalism. It has its drawbacks (not necessarily weakness, but inefficiencies) in the fact that it allows for considerable debate on things such as legislation. This can be expensive and time consuming, but it leads to more stable forms of legislation. The wants and needs of the people are met through compromise, rather than through rigid centralized standards. Even though federalism can seem inefficient, it’s flexible. That is a huge concept when it comes to stability. Forms of government that can’t evolve or change, such as communism (inflexible) will break under pressure. Democracy, especially federalism, actually invites pressure to form its style of rule, which is ultimately a reflection of the very people it represents.

    Thank You,

    Gordon

    Reference:

    Roskin, M, Cord, R, Medeiros, J, & Jones, W. (2014). Political Science:

             An introduction (13th ed). Hoboken, N.J.: Pearson.

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