?There are several advantages and disadvantages to the unitary, confederate, and federal systems of government. The unitary government is often described as a centralized government. It is a government in which all powers held by the government belong to a single and central agency. The central government creates local units of government for its own convenience and needs. Most governments in the world are unitary. Great Britain is an example of a unitary government. The Parliament holds all the power of the British government..
Local governments do exist but mainly to relieve Parliament of burdens it could perform only with difficulty and inconvenience. Advantages of the unitary government include: 1. Less duplication of services and fewer conflicts between national and local governments 2. Uniform policies, laws, political, enforcement, and administration throughout the country 3. Greater unity and stability 4. Simpler management of the economy. Disadvantages of the unitary government include: 1. Central government out of touch with local concerns 2.
Slow in meeting local problems 3. Slow government response (for instance no state National Guard that could be dispatched in emergency, troops would have to be mobilized from national authority). 4. Easily loses track of local issues The confederate government is an alliance of independent states. The confederate government has the power to handle only those matters that the member states have assigned to it. Usually, confederate governments have limited powers and only in such fields as defense and foreign commerce.
In our own history, the United States under the Articles of Confederation, 1781 to 1789, and the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, are examples of the form. Confederations are extremely rare in today’s world. The European Union is the closest approach to a confederation in today’s time. Advantages of the confederate government include: 1. Keeps power at local levels preventing the growth of a large central government 2.
Makes it possible for the several states to cooperate in matters of common concern and also retain their separate identities 3. Local government is better suited to help citizens 4. Very responsive on a small scale Disadvantages of the confederate government include: 1. Weakness of government makes it unable to enforce laws or collect taxes 2. Lack of unity and common laws 3. Unable to fight a war or run an economy Federal Government- A federal government is one in which the powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments.
An authority superior to both the central and local governments makes this division of powers on a geographic basis; and that division cannot be changed by either the local or national level acting alone. Both levels of government act directly on the people through their own sets of laws, officials, and agencies. In the United States, for example the National Government has certain powers and the 50 states have others. This division of powers is set out in the Constitution of the United States.
Advantages of the federal government include: 1. Federal unity but local governments handle local problems 2. Local government/officials have to be responsive to people who elect them 3. Central government can devote more time and energy to national and international problems 4. More opportunities for participation in making decisions – in influencing what is taught in the schools and in deciding where highways and government projects are to be built Disadvantages of the federal government include:
1. Duplication of services 2. Citizens living in different parts of the country will be treated differently, not only in spending programs, such as welfare, but in legal systems that assign in different places different penalties to similar offenses or that differentially enforce civil rights laws 3. Disputes over power/national supremacy versus state’s rights 4. International relations – states may pass laws that counter national policy.