Polity Notes


Under this heading government can broadly be classified under two categories— (i) Unitary Form of Government, (ii) Federal form of Government.

Forms of Government

1) Unitary form of Government(Best example Britain)

2) Federal form of Government(Best example U.S.A.)

In Unitary form of Government, a single government rules the whole country and in Federal form of Government, two types of government are there— (i) Union or Central government, (ii) States government.

Unitary form of Government

Unitary form of government is suitable where area is less, population is less, ethnic diversity is less, geographical variation is less, food habits are similar, language, culture, dressing habits etc. are similar.

Federal form of Government

Federal form of government is suitable rather essential for states larger in area and more population having citizens of different ethnic groups, communities, religion, languages, geographical variations, etc.

Advantages of Unitary form of Government

Similarity of laws throughout the country, less expensive, effective control of central government throughout the country, etc.

Disadvantages of Unitary form of Government

Not suitable for big countries.

Advantages of Federal form of Government

Federal form of government is a must for countries larger is area and population to fulfill the expectations and welfare of different communities, groups cultures, etc residing in that country. Federal form of government is more responsive and can better take care of the interest of the local public in different parts of the Country.

Disadvantages of Federal form of Government

Multiplicity of laws in different states of one country leads to confusion and resentment among public, more expensive, chances of friction between different states and also between Centre and State especially with opposition ruled states.

We have borrowed federal feature in our Constitution from Constitution of Canada and not from the Constitution of U.S.A.

Examples of Unitary form of Government

U.K., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Cuba, France, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Myanmar, Jordan, Cuba, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc.

Examples of Federal form of Government

U.S.A., India, Canada, erstwhile USSR, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Russia, etc.

Note: (a) Although China is three times bigger than India in area and also more populated than India, but still China has Unitary form of Government. Its President Xie Zinping controls the whole of China from its Capital Beijing.

(b)Every Country is free to make its own Constitution. This classification is general in nature. The Constitution of every Country cannot be placed under this classification. Our Constitution too has many Unitary features and cannot be called as true federal Constitution.

Prof. K.C. Wheareas called Indian Constitution as quasi-federal.