Becoming a Federalist

A Federalist is a firm believer in the principles of federalism.

Understanding federalism is the first step towards becoming a Federalist. What is Federalism? The understanding of federalism varies from  country to country, however, there are certain basic principles inherent in all federal systems that makes it easy to identify a country that practices federalism.

Some of the most basic features of federalism are as follows;

  • The federating units (states and community governments) maintain autonomy over the most basic issues that affect their people. From security to education, resource control, taxes, infrastructural developments, elections, judiciary, health care, etc.

  • Powers are shared between the various tiers of government in a manner that unnecessary interference becomes impossible.

  • The government (tier) closest to the people is more empowered to meet up with the needs of the local people.

  • The federal national government is usually a creation of the sub-national (state) governments.

  • The federal government responsibility is usually limited to just foreign affairs, monetary policy, immigration, customs, defense. Al powers not expressly given to the federal government by the federal constitution is reserved for the state government.

  • Governance is run in a bottom-up approach.

  • There is a federal and state constitution

Like Prof. Itsey Sagay rightly stated “Federalism is, therefore, an arrangement whereby powers within a multi-national country are shared between a federal or central authority, and a number of regionalised governments in such a way that each unit, including this central authority, exists as a government separately and independently from the others, operating directly on persons and property with its territorial area, with a will of its own and its own apparatus for the conduct of affairs and with an authority in some matters exclusive of all others. In a federation, each government enjoys autonomy, a separate existence and independence of the control of any other government. Each government exists, not as an appendage of another government (e.g. the federal or central government) but as an autonomous entity in the sense of being able to exercise its own will on the conduct of its affairs free from direction by any government. Thus, the Central Government on the one hand and the State Governments on the other hand are autonomous in their respective spheres.
 
As Wheare put it, “the fundamental and distinguishing characteristic of a federal system is that neither the central nor the regional governments are subordinate to each other, but rather, the two are co-ordinate and independent.” In short, in a federal system, there is no hierarchy of authorities, with the central government sitting on top of the others. All governments have a horizontal relationship with each other.

In a federation, each government enjoys autonomy, a separate existence and independence of the control of any other government. Each government exists, not as an appendage of another government (e.g. the federal or central government) but as an autonomous entity in the sense of being able to exercise its own will on the conduct of its affairs free from direction by any government. Thus, the Central Government on the one hand and the State Governments on the other hand are autonomous in their respective spheres.

Its time to get busy!

 Yes! Its time to get busy. If you cannot write for federalism, then join a walk for federalism in your city. If you cannot join a walk, then sponsor the campaign in any small way that you can. You can buy and distribute campaign wears for free in your neighborhood, sponsor a rally in your city, educate your neighborhood and many more.