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Characteristics of federalism

Federalism proposes a multi-level system of government, where each level of


government is democratic and has its own direct relationship with the citizens.
It might be understood variously as the dispersal of power within a political system by
reducing the power of the political centre or as the linking together of different political
systems by a framework of shared law and institutions. It all depends where you are
starting from.
Federalism is therefore a variant of liberal democracy, founded on multi-level democracy
in which the competences are allocated to different levels of government according to the
principle of subsidiarity and where relations between them are governed by the separation
of powers and the rule of law.
In the development of political institutions, therefore, federalists advocate the principles
of democracy, accountability and transparency. They criticise the traditional notions of
diplomacy and summits, constrained by the veto power, preferring the development of
international law and the pursuit of peace.
Federalists do not accept that the demands of national sovereignty should inhibit the
defence of human rights or the implementation of effective regulation where needed.
However, the legitimacy of any new institutions needs to be established in order to
balance the concerns arising from national identity and self-determination.

Features of Federal Government
Features of Federal Government
Fedralism has the following characteristics of its own ans these characteristics
distinguish it form Unitarianism.
a) In a federal state there are two sets of governments, one is called federal or central
government, the other is provincial or Unit governments.The union of these two sets of
governments makes what is called federation.Each governments is independent of the
other in its own jurisdiction.The central and unit governments are constitutionaly equal in
status and position:non s superior to other.
b) In a federation governmental powers are essentially distributed by the constitution
between the Central government on the one hand and the unit government on the
other.The details of division vary in different federations.But the principle folllowed in
the division is that all matters which are primarily of common intrest and require
uniformity of regulation throughout the country such as foreign affairs,defence,currency
and coinage are placed under the central government, and the resr is left to the Unit
governments.
c) Federal system essentially implies the supremacy of constitution.A federal state
derives its existance from the constitution;powers of both central and unit governments
are delegated by the constitution.Wvery power whether of central or Unit governments is
subordinate to, and controlled by, the constitution.For instance, in the united states
neither the president nor the Congress nor the governer of New yorknor its legislature can
legally exercise a single power which is inconsistent with the articles of the
constitution.Every legislature existing under a federal constitution is merely a subordinate
law-making body, whose laws are valid while within authority conferred on it by the
constitution, invalid if they go beyond the limits of such authority.
d) To maintain in practice the supremacy of the constitution every federal state must have
a supreme courrt.It interprets the constitution, decides disputes between center and
province or provinces, or between diffrent organs of government.It puts them in check,
keeps them within their constitutional limits.
e) The federal constitution being a complicated contract and the supreme law of the land
is essentially a written and rigid one.
f)In a federal state there exists some sort of double citizenship and allegiance.This means
that a citizen has to show alllegiance both to the provincial and federal governments,
g)The central legislature under federal system is generally found bicameral on tha age old
ground that the lower house enshrines the national idea and represents the nation as a
whole and the upper house is enshrine federal idea and to represent the units as such.