• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Response to Richard Vernon's Article - The Federal Citizen

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Response to Richard Vernon's Article: The Federal Citizen Henning Fotland B00339586 Prof. Mellon 29th January 2003 In this response I will attempt to prove that federalism is not an ideologically determined system, and that the basis of its structure is visible in all types of political orientation, such as the United States, the former Soviet Union and Canada. In this response to Richard Vernon's article The Federal Citizen, I will attempt to prove that the essence of federalism is actually a general theme that is available for extraction in all levels of human interaction, from the individual in society to the highest level of supra-government. As Vernon concludes, the three conceptions which necessitate federalism as a constitutional entity are; "democratic responsiveness, the openness of choice of identification, and the preservation of politics from (unqualified) nationalism."1 To begin an assessment of Vernon's argument for federalism it is first necessary to have a working definition of what this system is and what the goals of its implementation are. It appears to be the idea of 'dual citizenship', which distinguishes the aspirations of federalism from other systems. This entails belonging to an upper-level national government as well as identifying oneself with a sub level provincial or territorial government. ...read more.

Middle

Only by narrowing the focus and reducing the size of the government and its population can the institution of government be representative of its people. This theory is considered to be a co-operative model of federalism, where all actions of government are a direct result of popular will. Unfortunately, this theory does little to support the case of minority populations and would necessitate an environment of dispassionate compromise and would pose a threat to groups that tried to distinguish themselves culturally or otherwise. This model is contrasted by a political view of pluralism, where divisions of territory are seen not as cultural demarcations but as fractions of the whole system, where power is checked and balanced by other delegates of power. This picture conflicts with the intended co-operative spirit, and would be just as likely to lead to the restraining of beneficial government action as it would be to enabling it. A division of territory will inevitably lead to inequalities between provinces, consequently, if these divisions are placed in conflict with each other there will doubtlessly be victors and vanquished. It seems fantastic that a single political system could sustain being equally present on opposite sides of the political arena. ...read more.

Conclusion

By setting ideological parameters on a universal principle such as awareness, they blinded their own awareness to the essential truth of what they were exploring. Instead of seeing the ability to juggle several conflicting alliances simultaneously as a natural and necessary condition of human and therefore societal existence, Vernon attempted to establish an absolute truth within a very specific theoretical framework. What he failed to realize was that this basic condition of awareness was the absolute truth and that it existed independent of any political system or framework. I would like to challenge Vernon to find any extant political or social system that could not be interpreted as having his general federalist structure. In conclusion, I would argue that the importance of federalism as a dualist system is a misconception and that all politically aware people exist and view themselves in a multi-levelled society. Vernon's ideological claims are not best represented by federalism from an individualistic, ideological, economic or political standpoint. The basic tenants of federalism, as outlined in his closing remarks are not representative of the broad political spectrum which the system crosses. I believe that for federalism to become a concrete political system would require a much closer definition of its constitutional framework. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies essays

  1. Explain the role and importance of Federalism in the Constitutional system of government.

    of the States role: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."4 Under the 'strict constructionist' concept, there may be objections to the tasks the States have assumed, yet using

  2. Examine the role of Gandhi in the development of Indian nationalism

    Under Nehru the nationalist cause picked up, but many efforts were fought out between Jinnah the leader of the Muslim League rather than against the British. The mid 1930's saw a huge grow in hostilities between the Muslims and Hindu groups including what is now called the Congress-League war.

  1. Sovereignty and Democracy in the European Union.

    That was what Britain had wanted in the 50s, but it was not on offer from our largest neighbours. And it gradually became clear that the European Free Trade Area, EFTA, was no substitute. The Community had an explicit political agenda from the outset, even if the destination was unknown.

  2. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two philosophers who thought extensively on the subject ...

    According to Machiavelli, a successful leader possesses many qualities that are unbecoming of a father or role model: ?A ruler? cannot conform to all those rules that men who are thought good are expected to respect, for he is often obliged, in order to hold power, to break his word, to be uncharitable, inhumane, and irreligious?

  1. History of the European Union.

    Committees within the European Parliament Within the European Parliament there are 17 permanent Committees dealing with different subject areas. Each Committee has a number of MEPs who are full members, and others who are 'substitute' members. There are also a number of temporary Committees which are formed as important matters arise - for example, on Echelon or genetic technology.

  2. European Union: Council of Ministers.

    The 12 million Turkish Kurds are mostly concentrated in the relatively inaccessible mountains of southwestern Turkey in the area some call Kurdistan. Nevertheless, be reminded that the phrase Kurdistan should be used with care since it is not an internationally recognized country, and as such the term faces much opposition

  1. Sovereignty, opinion and revolution in Edmund Burke.

    To make his point, Burke focuses on Titre III, article i, of the Constitution drawn up in 1791, condensed into the following form: ` &La SouverainteH est une, indivisible, inalineable, et imprescriptible: * Elle Appartient a la Nation: * Aucune Section du peuple, ni aucune Individu ne peut s'en attribuer l'exercise' a [18].

  2. Outline and Critically Assess ‘Rhodes’ Argument About ‘Hollowing Out of the State’

    response to a lack of success of reform, an imbalance was perceived in the policy process, there was too much emphasis on political issues and not enough on policy implementation. The consequence was the creation of agencies with greater autonomy from government to implement policy outcomes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work