According to Dr. Dianne Berman of Santa Monica College, the advantages of federalism include the ability to experiment with policy, empowerment of local government, opportunities for direct democracy and decentralization of power. The disadvantages of federalism include conflict between regional and national governments and inequality between regional governments.Continue Reading
Federalism allows policy initiatives to fail or succeed on the local level before implementation by national governments. In the United States, this is evident with healthcare and cap-and-trade policies. In the U.S. Constitution, certain powers belong to regional governments while others delegate to the national government. This restricts the ability of all governments to implement policies that are unpopular or ineffective. This separation of powers provides a check on government. Federalism also encourages various allocations of resources because local governments must provide for some of their own expenditures. This leads to disparity between governments. Ambiguity between the powers of the regional and national government also causes conflict.
Three of the founding fathers, James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, wrote the "Federalist Papers," which outlined the federal system in the United States. These newspaper articles raised concerns about the system and voiced the advantages of the federal system to avoid tyranny of the minority.Learn more about Types of Government
Dictatorships allow a state to take a unified direction in policy since the commands all come from a single point; but this silences dissenting voices and removes power from others. In most cases, dictatorships involve repressive and brutal regimes who use their power to oppress the people.Full Answer >
Although both federal and confederate governments are multilateral systems of government that entail a central government as well as smaller state or municipal governments, a federal system assigns more power to the central government, whereas a confederate system reserves most of the power for the states. In a confederation, the central government has no power to tax the people or enforce laws.Full Answer >
The disadvantages of a unitary system include a lack of power balances, the possibility for slow national response because the national government must control everything, the lack of power in the local government and a lack of representation among its citizens. The British government is a unitary system and the United States government is a federalist system.Full Answer >
In communities with a large population, representative democracy allows the people to be heard without requiring everyone to submit their opinion on a subject individually. This means that more people get to have a voice without the crippling slow-down that would result from having thousands or even millions of individuals vote on each individual issue.Full Answer >