Federalism is a system of shared power and decision-making between two or more freely elected governments with authority over the same people and geographical area. When diverse groups of free people, with different languages, religious faiths, or cultural norms, choose to live under an agreed constitutional framework, they expect a degree of local autonomy and equal economic and social opportunities. Federalism provides such autonomy.

A federal system of government, power shared at the state and national levels, empowers elected officials who design and administer policies tailored to state needs. They work in partnership with a national government and with each other to solve the many problems the nation faces.
It grants and protects decision-making ability where results are most immediately felt in local communities, as well as at higher levels of government.
Federalism fosters government accountability to the people and encourages citizen participation and civic responsibility by allowing local governments to design and administer local laws.

Some powers vested with national governments
While it is generally agreed that local governments should satisfy local needs, some issues are best left to the national government. Defense, international treaties, federal budgets, and postal services are often cited as examples.

A written constitution
A federal system is strengthened by a written constitution granting authority and outlining the scope of shared responsibilities enjoyed by each level of government. Our constitution has divided responsibilities in the form of Lists – Union, State and Concurrent.

Governments at all levels working together.
Intergovernmental relations mean that governments in a federal state, national and state, work together when issues of statutory authority imply the need to address issues cooperatively.

A federal system is responsive and inclusive. Citizens are free to run for...