Better Essays

Federalism is a widely accepted system of government in North American cultures. To many North Americans it seems to be the obvious choice for all world governments, but this is not the case. In all honesty, federalism is a fairly unique form of government. Out of approximately two hundred nations on the earth one hundred and eighty states practice unitary forms of government, leaving only twenty or so as federal nations (Winchester, 1999). Unitary forms of government consist of only one level of government. These are very popular in modern day politics as they are much cheaper to run and to maintain, while still fitting the needs of most countries. Examples of countries which use unitary governments include France, The United Kingdom, and Italy. Also in a smaller, homogeneous country such as France there is little need for a second level of government. Federalism tends to be the products of states with large land masses, diverse populations and / or regional governments which were reluctant to join in confederation. Federalism is defined as “a political organization in which the activities of the government are divided between regional governments and a federal government” (Jackson, 221). The “division of activities is often referred to as a “division of powers” between a central government and regional governments. The division of powers is made possible through a written constitution, which stipulates which level of government will receive which power. In Canada these powers are divided between provincial powers and federal powers. Provincial powers are solely the responsibility of the province as outlined in the constitution. Some examples of provincial powers include health care, welfare, and ed...

... middle of paper ...

...deral level. It is through this dual system that the nation can achieve nationalism by controlling some powers at the national level, and the nation can enforce regional representation by having local government to look after regional issues.

Works Cited:

Forbes, H.D. Canadian Political Thought, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Jackson, Robert J., Doreen Jackson, Political Science: Comperative and World Politics, third ed., Scarborough, Ontario, Prentice Hall, 1997.

Marchak, Patricia M., Ideological Perspectives on Canada, Toronto, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1975.

Wijemanne, Adrian, Nationalism, Federalism, and Realism, 1997.

Winchester, David, Constitutionalism Lecture, November 21, 1999

Diamon and Wright, History of US federalism 1996
Get Access