How Does Central Government Affect Local Government

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EUROPEAN UNION One of the founding fathers of the American constitution, Thomas Jefferson said: ‘Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government’ At the national level, government is organized on either federal or a unitary basis. Federal systems contain middle-level territorial units of government (states, provinces, regions) which have a guaranteed status in the constitution that gives them a degree of independence and autonomy from the central government. In contrast, Sub-central units of government in unitary states are the creatures of central government, which creates them and which can reform, restructure, or abolish them without constitutional limitation. How central government changes local government…show more content…
Why not allow central government to run everything? Most countries are far too large and complex to be run by a single centre, or even by a few regional units of government. Governments must have some decentralization of its operations in the interests of both democracy and efficiency. Most countries rely heavily upon sub-central government to deliver services to citizens. It makes no sense, for example, to have bureaucrats in the capital city deciding when to close park gates in some distant town, or what books to buy for the local library. These are local services, and it makes sense to put them in the hands of local people who are affected by…show more content…
If local government is to play its democratic role, it must be elected by, and accountable, to local citizens; but central government is also elected and accountable. Which level of government is to have the final word in decision making? The problem is likely to be aggravated if central and sub-central government are controlled by different political parties. This is often the case because local elections are usually held between national elections (mid-term elections) when there tends to be a reaction against the central government of the day. The result is that ‘opposition parties’ are often elected locally. Party political conflict is sometimes thus built into central-local relations. Usually this is resolved by negotiating, bargaining and compromising. In turn, this calls for a set of institutions which enable central and local governments to talk to each other and resolve their

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