- NOTE: I originally posted the following on my Facebook page.
America’s Federalism is widely unknown to most Filipinos who think Uncle Sam’s system is presidential system or presidentialism. America’s political system is Republican Federalism, not presidential system.
Federalism guarantees States’ independence and autonomy from the national government. The system, through the Federal Constitution, defines and delimits the powers of the Federal government (under the Executive Office or President) over independent States (represented by Legislators, e.g., Senators and congressmen).
Federalism is based on the axiomatic FACT that the Federal Government was created or formed by the States, not the other way around. Under this principle of State Primacy (my own term), the creature (the Fed) cannot destroy or cannibalize its own creator(s). This is why the powers of the Fed must be strictly defined and delimited according to the nature of Limited Republican Government, including the powers given to the Executive Branch by the Federal Constitution. The Fed must have no power at all to infringe upon, or intrude into, the powers or authority of the States.
However in the United States, the Fed turned the Commerce Clause in the Constitution into a pretzel-like expansionist authority to increase its domestic powers and to arbitrarily intervene with State affairs. Other doctrines that capriciously expanded the Presidential powers and were responsible for the establishment of what they call “Imperial Presidency” are the executive privilege and executive agreement.
State Independence means that States may create their own charters or constitutions whose provisions must not contradict or contravene the letters, intent and spirit of the Federal Constitution.
The beauty of Federalism is that it guards the people against the inherent infallibility of elected politicians. So, when politicians of Palamunin State adopted laws that violated the rights of their constituents, the people may simply vote with their feet by migrating to FREER States. Also, palamunin people who want more welfare may simply go to States that provide more government welfare. People who want lower taxes may transfer to States that do not impose income tax (USA experience: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota and others).
Excessively schooled MORONS who are afraid of guns may simply pack their things up and go to States that restrict gun ownership. In the US Chicago, which imposes the strictest gun policy, has the highest gun-related crime and death rates. People who believe in gun ownership may also abandon their States that threaten to pass anti-gun rights legislation and migrate to FREER states. Fox News Sean Hannity once threatened to leave New York, which is about to pass stricter gun laws, and migrate to Texas.
In other words, Federalism prevents the Federal Government from establishing NATION-WIDE DICTATORSHIP as well as the STATES from bypassing the Federal Constitution.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, if P-Noy and his minions passed a Universal Healthcare Law that would increase taxes, expand the regulatory powers of the Executive Office, and CONTROL both medical and business industries, the entire country would be affected (even if a few provinces were against the measure) and everybody would suffer from the unintended consequences of the government’s failed programs.
Our centralized, unitary system can effectively speed up the establishment of DICTATORSHIP. This system makes it impossible for us to hide and run to a safer place. This is why the only option is TO GO ABROAD! Under this system, there is no place to run should our failing country turn to tyranny.
In the United States, the States may simply reject or oppose intrusive or dictatorial Federal laws/policies via STATE NULLIFICATION, the idea that the States can and must refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws.
I must highlight this: By definition, our political system is CENTRALIZED, UNITARY SYSTEM, NOT presidential system.