POLS 110 Lecture Notes - The Attractions, Environmental Factor, Classic Case

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February 3rd, 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
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Document Summary

Federations: supreme political authority divided by area and power. Understanding federalism via the assumptions and characteristics of the federal scheme. #1 each level autonomous, immune from elimination by the other. #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: collective sharing in central rule making by unequal units. #5 each level of government must be able to act directly on the citizen: each level must be able to tax, impose laws and to ensure that people within their area obey laws and regulations. Dissolution: federation of the west indies (1958- 1962) or the u. s. (1777- 1790, one way to leave is to dissolve the federation so that everyone can leave and do their own thing. Secession: there are peaceful secessions such as norway separating from.

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