Write a critical essay about Federalism on the following topic: Discussing the outcome of a Roundtable discussion of federalism in Australia, John Wanna reported that "...all three levels of government - Commonwealth, state/territory and local - tended to see federalism as a malaise, not as a source of effective government" (Wanna 2007: 276). What might be the reasons for this negative view of our system of government? What steps might be taken to overcome it?
Wanna aims to both inform and persuade readers with his representation of outcomes from the round table discussions on Federalism. John Wanna has examined the roles and outcomes of the Australian federalism model as both dysfunctional, lacking clear useable guideline’s and destined for failure in its current form. The negative view of the author portrays the views of the round table through a narrow minded, one sided approach. Wanna’s approach to federalism seems to be guided by his belief that federalism has lost its place in our current society, that we as a nation have moved past the reigns and constraints of federalism. His reading serves to persuade his readers and his quite politicized, and as such focuses heavily on the disadvantages and limitations of our current system. Wanna shares similar believes with Galligan in that federalism’s purpose is to enshrine institutional processes, to guarantee citizens and groups the right to pursue their own happiness, and to restrict governments from legislating happiness schemes’ (Galligan 1995:45). Dr Alan Fenna compared the Australian variation of federalism as both out-dated but somewhat useable in Australia in comparison to other countries. ‘While federalism has taken on a new lease of life in recent times, finding expression in or among previous unitary states, it has not been thriving in existing federations (Fenna 2007). Federalism appears to be a mode of structuring relationships between all agencies and political parties to ensure open and...
References: Fenna, A. Sept 2006. ‘What use is Federalism Anyway.’ Australasian Political Studies Association conference University of Newcastle.
Galligan, B. 1995. A Federal Republic: Australia’s constitutional system of government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hollander, R &Patapan, H. 2007. ‘Pragmatic Federalism: Australian Federalism from Hawke to Howard: The Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol.66, no 3, pp. 280-297
Wanna, J. Sept 2007. ‘Improving Federalism: The Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 275–279’
Please join StudyMode to read the full document