The politics of science: Federalism, Confederalism and unitary systems of government.
A government system is shares power amongst various levels and portions of the country, state or nation. In this paper, the uses and distribution of power are going to be elaborated and analyzed for different systems of government. It is important to also note that the fraction of power in the hands of the main government is a major determinant of the system of government a country or a state employs.
*Unitary system of Government*
This system of government contains the greatest form of control whereby the government has most if not all of the power. Most of the nation-states are adopt a unitary system of government although with many variations. The Great Britain, for instance, devolves power only in practice but not in a constitutional standard. Power in Great Britain has devolved to the regional government which in this case are the other countries of Great Britain; Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (William, 14).
In the first form of a unitary system of government adopted by the Great Britain, the local government (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales) are elected via a complex system overseen by the parliament although in constitutional theory. In some unitary government forms, devolution of power is prescribed for in the constitution as seen in Japan where specific autonomous functions are that are supposed to be undertaken by the subnational governments are enshrined in the constitution.
The second type of government has less decentralization of power with stringent supervision of the sub-national units. Before 1982 France was a typical example of such a state. The country was divided into departments that were each headed by a prefet. The departments were further subdivided into arrondissements that were headed by sous-prefets. The sous-prefets and prefets were chosen by the central government and were thus employees of the central government. Additionally, there were executives of the central government called the Conseils généraux that was made up of elected officials also involved in the appointing of the prefets. Through this, there was central supervision of the affairs of sub-national authority via officials’ appointment with representation in the territories through the elected sub-national governments. However, after 1982 decentralization law was passed that saw the powers of the prefets handed to the conseils généraux. The law also saw the creation of new regions supervised directly by the elected local councils.
The third type of unitary system of government is where only a token of power is devolved. The roles of the heads of the sub-national governments are usually very limited. This is best explained by looking into Nazi Germany, which was divided into forty-two Gaue headed by a Gauleiter appointed following his loyalty to Adolf Hitler. On the other hand, every state of the United States adopt unitary systems of government with bicameral legislative houses save for the state of Nebraska that has a unicameral legislature
In most cases under this form of government, there are no lower tiers of government. However, lower-tier governments exist only to implement, execute and forge the policies that are drafted and spearheaded by the national government. The Most often than not, the laws of such a state apply across the whole jurisdiction of the said state without complacency or favor for anyone anywhere within the state. . Other countries that adopt a unitary form of government include Bulgaria, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and most of the Scandinavian countries.
Advantages of Unitary system of Government
Unitary states establish national policies that are uniformly implemented. This standardization of implementation of the laws most often serves as a benefit because businesses and people are accustomed to exactly what the laws expect of them despite their geographical location within the jurisdiction of the state (Fisch, 113). Perhaps the major advantage of this form of government is the decisive single legislature. This makes it more efficient in fast decision making.
Additionally, such governments are usually smaller and help save the countries that are governed n the same way money that can be channeled into the development of the country. Simultaneously, to maintain its evenness, a unitary government must supervise local variances that might require for different policies or rules.
To summarize the key points regarding what a unitary system of government entails; there is no hierarchy of power in a unitary government. The central governments hold all or most of the power and devolves the powers and supervise the local government. The sub-national governments in a unitary state have do not formulate their law as this is reserved for the central government. Most of the power is held by the central government in the unitary government systems.