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Federalism is an organization system that can be used as the governing body of a nation. The United States has a federalism system; however it is not the only system available to be used. Federalism is at its heart a mixture of two other popular systems, the unitary system, and the democratic system. Federalism relies on two levels of the government working hand in hand to control and legislate over the same group of people, and body of land. There are two major systems of Federalism, Cooperative Federalism, and Dual Federalism. Dual Federalism in where both levels remain supreme within there spheres, they stack on top of each other, they are known as layer cake federalism. Cooperative federalism is where powers and policies are shared between the states and the federal government, this also spurs the sharing of administration, costs, and blame for programs; cooperative federalism can be considered marble cake. The federal system goes against Robert Dahl’s ideas of Democracy, because federalism gives supremacy to the government, federalism goes against individual’s rights, and federalism limits peoples voting rights. Federalism allows both the states and the federal government to rule over people. However there are many cases where the states and the national government do not agree on how to best rule over the citizens. In these cases the national government wins and there ideas are forced on the
states. This goes against Dahl’s views for proper democratic systems. Dahl believed that people should be represented and their view points and what mattered to them should be the main focus of the representation. The federalism system goes against this in these cases where a state which is representing hits peoples view points is in disagreement with the national government, hence the federalism is not in accordance with what is democratically wanted by the states and by definition the people. Due to the federalism not allowing the states to actually do what they want, many people are alienated. While their state may agree in their favor, their policies are in conflict with the national government. This leads to their voices not truly being heard, and a major pitfall in the democratic process. This fundamentally goes against Dahl’s believes that the people are the central points to democracy and their views must be heard and acted upon. Under the federalism system, many times voter’s physical votes don’t mater. This is due to the majority rules system that is associated with the federalism system. This is apparent in all elections, and is very evident in the 2000 Presidential Election. Presidential nominee George W. did not with the popular vote, however he did win the Electoral College. This caused great outrage with many people because they felt that it was not right for the president to not be the popular vote winner. While democracy was not in favor of Bush, he was still awarded the presidency because the federalism system, with Madison’s influence that majority should not be the total ruling
factor, lead to the Electoral College which directly goes against the policies of Dahl’s Democracy. Dahl did believe that not everyone must vote and accepted that not everyone would be in accordance with what was decided, however he believed that a majority must be in favor of the policies, In conclusion, federalism does not support Dahl’s ideals for democracy, because of the restrictions that the national government have suppressed the democratic ideals. Federalism has last for over 200 years, so the principals do work very well, just they are not strictly following Dahl’s Democratic ideals.