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Queen's University
Political Studies
POLS 110
Rob Beamish

February 3 , 2013 Political Science Federalism Federalism:  Federations: supreme political authority divided by area and power  Understanding federalism via the assumptions and characteristics of the federal scheme Assumptions of federalism:  #1 Each level autonomous, immune from elimination by the other  #2 Boundaries inviolable, cant be changed  #3 Supreme political authority divided by both territory and function (The powers)  #4 Necessity of base line of equality- every bit is given an equal say in the community o Collective sharing in central rule making by unequal units  #5 Each level of government must be able to act directly on the citizen o Each level must be able to tax, impose laws and to ensure that people within their area obey laws and regulations  #6 Necessity of two sets of courts o As a citizen we have two different courts to help deal with federal issues and federal laws o We need this as we must have one court to keep the peace of other sets of issues such as conflicts between the two levels of government  #7 Necessity of procedure for amending the constitution o Needed incase something goes wrong that must be fixed o To ensure that we don’t get a change that a large amount of members of the federal level would oppose o A system of checks and balances o To create all sorts of conservative blocks to changes that affect that supreme political authority  #8 Citizens must be allowed to express loyalty to more than one level of government o Federalism as a way of organizing authority recognizes this that the question of obedience is not a problem, the question of loyalty is a different matter o Members in a federalism state are going to have different kinds of loyalties and that’s okay o Don’t push the citizens and demand that their loyalties should belong to just one place or thing  #9 Secession to be made difficult in theory, impossible to practice o The act of leaving a federation or withdrawing o This assumption basically says that secession should basically never occur, once your in a federation you must stay in that federation o In theory you can leave but in practice you shouldn’t Dissolution, expulsion, secession:  Dissolution o Federation of the West Indies (1958- 1962) or the U.S. (1777- 1790) o One way to leave is to dissolve the federation so that everyone can leave and do their own thing  Expulsion o The British decided to set free colonized places in Malaysia an then call them the Federation of
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