Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Federalism Introduction to Federalism Douglas Brown St Francis Xavier University September 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to Federalism Introduction to Federalism Douglas Brown St Francis Xavier University September 2012
Introduction to Federalism Part 1 What is Federalism ? What is Federalism ? Federalism and Political Values Federalism and Political Values History and Variety of Federal Experience History and Variety of Federal Experience Part 2 Key Characteristics and Variables of Federations Key Characteristics and Variables of Federations
What is Federalism? A type of democratic government A philosophy of co-existence in diverse or multiple societies The constitutional rule of law Self rule plus shared rule Divided and shared sovereignty Multilevel governance
Definitions and Distinctions Federalism -- the overall theory of shared governance and social co-existence Federation – two or more orders of government with equal status under a Constitution Confederation – league of states with delegated central authority (( in Canada, the original act of union in 1867))
More Definitions…. Federated states – formal association of a smaller state with a larger one (e.g. Puerto Rico with USA) “Federal Government” – common name for the central government in a federation Federal Systems – the family of political systems that includes federations, confederations, federated states, etc.
Evaluating Federalism 1 1.By Liberal-democratic values 2.By State and other powerful interests and values 3.By Communitarian values
Evaluating Federalism 2 Liberal-Democratic values Federalism enables representative democracy in large territories Provides for territorial pluralism Protects minorities and individual rights Allows for competition and multiple power centres
Evaluating Federalism 3 State and other interests Elite accommodation and bargaining is promoted Conflict management improved Protection of borders and differences is afforded New orders (levels) of jurisdiction take on a life of their own
Evaluating Federalism 4 Communitarian values Pooling of resources for such purposes as joint defense and a common market Sharing of wealth, redistribution Allows for diversity within a single community, as well as power sharing among communities
History and Variety of Federal Systems 1 Early Leagues of States (Confederacies) Greek, Hanseatic, Iroquois Greek, Hanseatic, Iroquois The First Federation: USA, 1787 First republic in a large land mass First republic in a large land mass Compound polity Compound polity Limited government Limited government Switzerland, 1848 British Parliamentary Federations Canada 1867, Australia 1901, India 1949, Malaysia 1965, West Indies and Africa (various dates, 1960s) Canada 1867, Australia 1901, India 1949, Malaysia 1965, West Indies and Africa (various dates, 1960s)
History and Variety of Federal Systems 2 German Federal Model, 1949 Administrative unity Administrative unity European Union, 1986 onwards From confederation to federation? From confederation to federation? Newly Federal Constitutions from Unitary States Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom Newly “Real” Federalism Russia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil Russia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil Recently Failed Federations Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia
What drives federal systems: the institutions or the social base? Political scientists theorize about what is the driving force in politics: institutions or society? How do federal institutions shape society? Or is there such a thing as a federal society? Can a federal society change over time? How? Can a federal society become more/less integrated? Can federal institutions change, as society changes?
Part 2 Five key features Three Caveats Processes for Change Indicators for comparing federal systems Canada compared with other federations
Five Features of “Federations” (From Jennifer Smith’s book Federalism 2004) 1. Combining shared rule and self rule: regional (e.g. province) governments for regional matters, laws applicable to residents within their boundaries; central government for general or “national” matters, laws applicable to all citizens. 2. Autonomy of each level of government respected, one not subordinate to the other. Usually constituent units have equal powers among themselves (“symmetry”).
Five Features, continued 3. The federal relationship is legally bound by a written Constitution, and governed by the rule of law. 4. A constitutional amending formula, preventing any one order of government from changing the constitution unilaterally. 5. A central government designed in part to represent the units of the federation.
3 Key Caveats 3 Key Caveats 1.There is no one model that works everywhere - - it depends on the circumstances of founding and the nature of the societies to be federated. 2.All federations change over time as the economy and society, and the role of government changes. 3.Thus federations combine fixed features to provide certainty with flexible features to provide and accommodate change.
Comparing Three Federations Federation:USAAustraliaCanada Self-rule + shared rule (Distribution of powers) Exclusive federal powers, State powers concurrent Exclusive powers both federal + provincial Autonomy protectionSymmetrical power of all States, some other units Symmetrical power of all States, Territories have less power Some special status for Quebec. Territories have less power. Constitution interpreted by courts Yes, but Courts often defer to Congress on federalism issues Yes, but federal balance not considered important Yes. Federal balance an important principle Amending formula2/3 vote in Congress, 2/3 of States 2/3 vote in Parliament, double majority referendum Parliament plus 7 of 10 provinces, some matters require all provinces Central government representation Elected Senate represents each State equally Electoral College for President Elected Senate represents each State equally Appointed Senate with near equal “sectional” representation Minimum of 3 Quebec judges in Supreme Court
Processes for Change in Federal Systems Constitutional amendment (or treaty) Judicial review Fiscal arrangements Intergovernmental agreement Political parties and movements
Significant Variables 1.Centralization, decentralization and “noncentralization” – the flow of lawmaking, administrative clout, money 2.Symmetry vs. asymmetry – “defacto” and “dejure” 3.Interdependence of governments – is it dealt with through “Interstate” or “intrastate” process? 4.Degrees of Self-determination and self- government of constituent “peoples” or nations