Confederal System Of Government: Meaning, Main Features, Merits And Demerits

Confederal System Of Government

Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Confederal System Of Government
2. Features Of Confederal System Of Government
3. Merits Of Confederal System Of Government
4. Demerits Of Confederal System Of Government
Meaning Of Confederal System Of Government
Confederal system of government is a loose political arrangement in which sovereign or independent states come together to form a union where almost the major functions of government are reserved for the component states with a weak centre. Confederal system could also be defined as a system of government in which two or more sovereign or independent states agree to come together to have a central but weak government.
However, the issue of currency, defence, foreign affairs may remain exclusive preserve of the central government. In confederal system, component states retain their sovereignty, identity, own army, police force and can also secede if they so wish. Examples are: Senegambia (1982) called the union of Sovereign Senegal and Gambia. Other confederacy of Ancient Greece called Swiss cautions, Former German Confederation, American confederacy of 1781-1789 etc. This Confederation is a league of sovereign states.
Features Of Confederal System
1. Confederation is a loose union of sovereign states.
2. All the component states retain their army and police.
3. The components states have the right to secede (withdraw) if and when the government of member states so desire.
4. The central government does not deal directly with the citizens rather member states have separate diplomatic representation.
5. Confederalism operates a flexible constitution.
6. The component states retain their sovereignty and independence.
7. The loyalty of the citizens resides with their own states.
8. The component states are stronger than the centre. The centre is weak.
Merits Of Confederal System
1. Each member state benefits from one another in different areas of interest.
2. Equality exists among the states making up the confederation. No state can claim superiority over others.
3. Actions are taken by member states based on consensus carrier reached.
4. There is unity of purpose as member state, both big and small, rich and poor are brought together for a common purpose.
5. Confederal system of government helps to expand local markets because each confederating state has the right to market her goods in any of the member state.
Disadvantages/Demerits Of Confederal System (Confederalism)
1. Confederal government generates political instability.
2. It is a very difficult system of government to operate thus becoming a good test of democracy.
3. The confederal government is not known or recognised since citizens only obey their independent state (The citizens loyalty only to their states bring about disregard to the central government).
4. Having separate police and armed forces can be used to torment trouble.
5. There is difference in interactions and opinions on global issues which can cause conflict.
Difference Between Federal System And Confederal System
1. Federal System: The central authority is more powerful and stronger than the components units.
Confederal System: The states (countries) making up the confederation are more stronger and powerful than the centre.
2. Federal system constitution is supreme, written and rigid While Confederal system constitution is flexible.
3. On Federal system, Component units making up a federation cannot secede, While on the Confederal system, There is right for any state to secede or break away.
4. On the Federal System, The central government controls the armed forces and police, While On The Confederal System, Component states still maintain their separate armed forces and police.
5. Federal system is a stable political system While Confederal system is a fragile and not stable.
6. On Federal System, It has different tiers of government e.g central, state and local government While On Confederal System, has an independent states with their separate government.
7. Powers are shared between the centre and other component units on the Federal System, While there is no power sharing on the Confederal System.
8. Component units are autonomous but still subordinate to the centre (On Federal System), While Components states are sovereign and independence of the centre (On Confederal System).

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