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Distribution of powers between Federal and Unit Government

Updated on January 31, 2010

Distribution of powers between Federal and Unit Government

 On the basis of distribution of powers between the federal and unit governments, federations may broadly be classified under two heads: (a) American type of federation, and (b) Canadian type.
In American federation, powers of the federal or central government have been specifically enumerated and the residuary powers have been left to the unit or state governments.The case is quite opppsite in Canadian federation.In Canada powers of the provincial governments have been enumerated and the remaining powers have been delegated to the central government.
The significance of this basis of distribution of powers is that the governments which receive the remaining or residuary powers are in a more advantageous position.Because specified powers mean rigidly limited powers.Thus in America the states-governments having residuary powers are in more advantageous position than the federal government, while in Canada and india such advantage is given to Central government.that is why , and India may be called or quasi-federations or federations with unitary bias.
The Federal government of America has been given the minimum powers neccessary for the working of federal government.The remaining powers have been left to the states themseleves .Thus the functions of federal government or the U.S.A. are definitely limited and rigidly stated by the constitution,No doubt, the supreme court there, by its liberal interpretation of the Central subjects, has greatly enhanced the spheres of federal subjects.In Canada opposite is the case.There the federal government, possessing residuary powers, legislature in all matters not definitly assigned to the states. The powers of Canadian Central government is thus much wider than those of the federal government of America.
But the changing conditions of modern life and the compelling forces of international situation and oneness are driving at amarked tendency towards the increasing authority of the central government in every federal state.Not only the spirit of unity in every state is increased but intrests formerly of local now have become national.Modern business is national or even international rather than local.Besides, the creation of a federatrionis itself a step towards further unity.Common actions ,particularly in war and foreign relations increase national spirits at the expense of local patriotism.

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