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The choice between a federal form of government and a unitary system often comes down to the issues of size and diversity. The greater the territorialized diversity present, the greater the attractiveness of a federal system as a means of responding to and accommodating diverse desires for some measure of self government. Hence countries like India and Nigeria in the developigng world have gravitated towards proliferating the number of their linguistically or tribally distinct states. Likewise, in a country as large as the US, even withut its diversity, federalism would be a logical choice on the grounds that those closer to some problems are apt to make better choices than a government a thoursand or more miles away.

The choice between separation of powers at the center and a parliamentary system with fused executive and legislative branches is another matter, and usually comes down to personal preferences rooted deeply in political cultures and/or the nature of the problems confronting the government. As we have noted, the US model has not found many takers in the last century of so, and is often looked down upon as an inefficient, 18th century system overmatched by 21st century problems.

So what do you think in a purely theoretical fashion, since the Constitution is an icon beyond being touched - if the US were to write a constitution today, do you think we would still choose, or should choose a checks and balances, separation of powers system? Why or why not?

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It is often argued that the U.S. system is outdated and there have been no-takers. Contrarily, India a British colony, following in the footsteps of the American system, opted for a federal system tuned with British...
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