- Published: November 21, 2022
- Updated: November 21, 2022
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- Language: English
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Question one. The views of the Federalists and the Anti-federalists on the role of the representatives derive from the ways in which each see therole of the federal, or central, government. The Federalists believed in a strong central government and they thought that it would protect the rights of individual citizens. In contrast, the Anti-federalists did not trust a strong central government and favored more the concept of ” little republics” or states, each with their laws establishing their own authority to protect citizen rights and exercise power of government. Each of these positions had good and strong reasoning, as represented by James Madison in Federalist Letter #10 and the debating response by the writer ‘Brutus’. Today the arguments of James Madison are usually held as the winning ones, defending and establishing important principles of a strong American central government. James Madison supported the trustee type of leadership. In this way the ” enlightened” representative of good reasoning power would be trusted with a degree of autonomy to represent citizens and to deliberate over issues. While being at a physical distance from the constituents, the representative would not be confounded by overpowering or competing interests of various factions. Trustee representation contrasted the delegate model of representation where the representative served only as a mouthpiece of the interest without autonomy. Brutus, in his debating response, argues against a powerful central government that ” has authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man” (p. 23). He says that the United States is too immense and quotes from Montesquieu that the man of property may soon begin to promote his own interests over that of his fellow citizen. Further, in a smaller republic public interests are ” easier perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen” (p. 24). Time has proven Brutus wrong that a central government would become tyrannical over local government, and has instead, in my belief, shown that our elected representatives on the national level can wear both hats of the trustee and delegate. 2.)Question two – devolution Eggers and O’Leary accept the view of devolution, meaning they regard centralized control and centralized decision-making as contrary to the primary principles of American government. Their principles are based on the view of the classical Federalist argument, that local control of government should be prioritized over central control and that self interest is the best determinant of local interest. The authors propose a radical devolution that would essentially eliminate education, health, housing, and welfare tasks of the federal government. An example which they provide is a dinner where everyone is willing to share equal parts of the total costs (p. 56-57). But some will eat more than others at the dinner simply because they could while knowing that all would share equally in the expenses. Here Eggers and O’Leary lose their argument supporting devolution as a good policy. The example calls for John Donahue’s strong ” stewardship of common interests” over citizens to correct the self-interest individual who overeats for pleasure (p. 57). Donahue also importantly demonstrates that there is no real gain in cost savings of government expenditures, or governmental efficiency, resulting from devolution. I agree with Donahue in the “ strong stewardship,” for if devolution had been established, then we would still have slavery.
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