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Federalism


Federalism is an issue which often generates a lot of heated debates. Its supporters say that decentralization is necessary in order to give legal sovereignty to regional governments, and thus ensures that countries with vast territories are thoroughly governed. On the other hand, its opponents claim that too much freedom can lead to the collapse of the whole country.

Every part of a big country has unique problems that differ from those of other parts in the first place. For instance, there could be serious problems with water supply in regions that are situated in coastal areas, while the provinces that adjoin third world countries may have refugee issues. Consequently, it is much better if the local governments that know every detail of the problems takes targeted steps to solve them.

Secondly, it is often argued that central governments are unable to handle the problems of the different religious and ethnic groups that form the population of a multicultural state. For example, in some regions, it is necessary to establish bilingual education, while in others, it’s required that there are certain places for religious ceremonies. Local governments guarantee that every special need is satisfied, and there are no violations of religious norms.

The introduction of federal sovereignty takes the burden of local decision making away from the central government as well, and enables it to concentrate on global issues such as domestic and foreign policy. In addition, federalism is sometimes necessary to solve a military conflict caused by disagreement with the central policy. When local governments get the freedom to act, the conflict exhausts itself.

In contrast, opponents of decentralization claim that it leads to various conflicts of authority. For example, the local government may shift the responsibility of decision making during natural disasters onto the central government, thus causing procrastination that may lead to human loss.

Furthermore, federalism is said to create favorable conditions for corruption. This is so because there are too many powerful politicians that may feel free to act on their own. In addition, there is one more possibility for corruption on the state level, where the resources could be unequally shared. The appearances of impoverished and prosperous states will be vastly different in this case.

All things taken into consideration, it can be said that countries with big territories and diverse populations may only benefit from the introduction of federalism. However, it must be ensured that local governments are formed with incorruptible people who understand the burden of the responsibilities given to them.



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