Federalism is a mixed-mode of government. It composes of a general government and regional governments in a single political system. States and provinces share power with a national government. Each state has its own constitution and powers such as being able to choose what kind of ballot it uses even in national elections.
The system comprises two or more levels of government. The jurisdiction of specific governments is in the constitution.
Pros of Federalism
- It allows the government to be responsible for individual needs
When the government is closer to its citizens, then it becomes easier for it to provide solutions to various issues that face the members of the public.
- It encourages innovation in governing
The government is able to try a different set of policies as it encourages cooperation. This allows innovations as many things will be tried and see if they may work for the benefit of the members of the public.
- It allows a system of cooperation
The system allows each community to set the rules that are fit for them and this makes it easier for them to cooperate as they may not want to disobey what they were involved in forming their rules hence easier to rule such a community.
- It increases participation by individuals
Individuals are able to participate freely as they have a feeling that it is for their own good and they are not being forced to be in that particular government.
- It allows efficiency
There is efficiency in the governing system as some of the powers are given to the states. The local governments have the right to solve some of the problems affecting them and this makes the government have easier work hence efficiency in the system.
- It creates protection against oppression
The members of the public are given chances to set their own rules and this makes them not feel being oppressed by some rules from the government.
- Governmental power is diffused
This makes it difficult for one division to take over the leadership of the country. When power is centralized there will be issues with corruption in the government and this may lead to citizens not having trust in their own leaders.
- It does not allow a single individual or a group to take over the government
A single individual or group cannot take over the government as each state have to decide whom to elect and hence the candidate has to have influence in most of the states.
- It creates training grounds for future officials
The community is able to train someone that may succeed another one in the leadership. The training is mainly making them be able to lead the whole nation one day hence when a person gets into power he or she may be aware of what needs to be done.
- A community may move to a geographical area that supports its beliefs
This system may allow the community to move to an area that has governing structures that support their beliefs and this may make them not feel oppressed by other communities.
Cons of Federalism
- The structure can benefit only the rich
If not for the checks and balances, the structure may only benefit the rich. For the United States what is considered most is the wage and wealth gaps. This may make the rich to have more as they will be able to access opportunities that can give them a lot of money.
- It can be inefficient
As people may have a different set of laws to follow, they may decide not to follow some and this may result in the inefficient working of the government.
- Can lead to uncertainty
There is a possibility of creating uncertainty as some communities may not really be sure of where they are supposed to receive help from when they cannot get help from their states.
- It can lead to oppositional competition
The structure can create unwanted competition for resources as each state is allowed to set their own rules that can govern them. This may lead to the movement of people to a neighboring state that offers higher benefits.
- It allows fight between the national government and the local ones
This may result because the national government may not like the way the local governments conduct their businesses hence resulting in a fight.
- It leads to the passing of ridiculous laws
As the structure allows the local governments to set their own rules, this may make the communities set the rules that suit them which may not be accepted by the government by becomes difficult to control them as they have the powers to pass their own rules.
- It protects the will of the majority at any cost
It is possible for some groups to put the needs of the majority group over the needs of the entire community. This may make the minority to be oppressed by the decisions made by the majority groups.
- It can lead to injustice and undemocratic practices
As the structure is aimed towards democracy, to some extent it may lead to undemocratic practices and injustice. As in the southern part of America, there is still racial segregation even after the civil war came to an end.
- Policies in one state may undermine the other
Some states may have policies that may undermine other states by influencing them to follow the policies hence some states may not enjoy the freedom of setting their own policies.
- It leads to societal polarization
The structure may lead to social polarization in that there may be only two sides to choose from and this may make the individuals that do not suit in either of the sides not to have an option.
When the government shares power with individuals then it prevents one person or a group of people to be more powerful than the others. The system ensures a set of checks and balances that makes the officials not to oppress the citizens. The drawbacks are brought about due to small hitches but if looked into to then the federal structure may be the best for most nations.