Federalism

BUF-FED educational seminars

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Introduction

n     The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the true nature of federalism and its unique ability to solve the multi-national countries problems.

n     From Balochistan Unite Front Federal Republican educational seminars.

Topics of Discussion

n      The structure of federalism

n      The layers with in federalism

n      Federalism's relation with democracy

n      Distribution of power in Federalism

n      Fear of federalism in Iran

n      Most Iranian and Baloch mistake Federalism(Federation) with Confederation

n      Yugoslavia, Nigeria and Pakistan ruin Federalism concept and reputation

n      Type of democracy

n      Presidential democracy

n      Parliamentary democracy

n      What is best for Iran

n         What is best for Balochistan

n         Federalism illustration

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Topic One

n      First the definition of federalism: a union of political or societal entity formed by uniting smaller or more localized entities, so federalism is a union and a contract between elements of a country to form a bigger entity such was the Iranian governments during the achaemenid  and Sasanid dynasties(Minus the Kings, we donít advocate kingdom) and Darius I the great was the best administrator of a federal government in ancient world. Its conceivable that Federalism was created by the Persian since the Persians were confederated tribes united under one umbrella federal government managed by Cyrus the great.

   Federalism has a distributed structure in contrast to centralized structure, It divide the power between competing nationalities, parties, interest groups horizontally and forces the various competing groups to share the power and not monopolize  the powers. This will give a chance to any one to present new ideas and challenge the others thus encouraging creativity, the result is rapid progress in politics, social developments, arts, culture, science and all aspects of life. On the other hand centralized power only promotes the ruling eliteís ideas and powers leading to dictatorship as we have seen and witnessing in Iran now.

    The central government power is limited to protection of the country from foreign invasion, securing its boarders, regulating commerce between the states and promoting and directing the foreign policy, the rest is left to local entities such as the states, cities, districts.

    In turn each member entity of federalism is also managed in the same fashion as central government. The states power is shared with city government and city powers are shared with districts, town and villages. 

 

Topic Two

n      Federalism Layers

n      Layers consist of different equal and independent branches of government, such as House of representative(parliament, majlese shourai melli), Senate(Sana), Judiciary (supreme court(dadgahe Aali), the house of representative and senate together are called congress(or Majlese moasasan). Checks and balances are the essential of federal governmentís structure as well which means any law passed must be approved by both house of representative and senate then signed by the president or prime minister and passes the supreme courts approval for constitutionality. Amendments to the constitutions are also required to be ratified by the states to be come law and if a state chooses not to ratify an amendment, the amendment would not become law in that state which has not ratified the amendment and can not be enforced in that state.

n      States: states are one elements of the Federalism where they are equal to federal government except they can not direct the foreign policy and can not protect the entire countryís boarders.

n      Each member state has its own stateís House of representative, senate, supreme court and governor, each state has its own constitution and must be in compliant with the federal constitution.  States are not allowed to violate the federal constitution.

n      Cities: each city has its own city council to serve as a legislative body, the city laws are called city ordinance, cities laws are passed by the city council and approved by the mayor, and same goes for districts, towns and villages.

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Topic Three

n      Federalism can not exist without democracy, democracy is one of federalism's elements. Democracy could be of presidential or parliamentary democracy, both with checks and balances to avoid dictatorship.

n      Federalism and Democracy compliment each other, one can not be complete without  another, most importantly Federalism can not be complete without democracy.

n      We have many countries with federalism label but due to lack of democracy in such federal system they have turned into dictatorships, such as former Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Mexico to name few.

n       A democracy is from the people, for the people and by the people.

n      There are many types of democracies but two of them stands out among others. The two are presidential democracy and parliamentary democracy 

n      Presidential democracy is a democracy that the president is elected directly by peopleís direct free and confidential vote, the post of prime minister doesnít exist, the president and his cabinet is the executive branch of government, all the government departments such as defense, agriculture, health, justice fall under his/her jurisdiction. This constitutes the executive branch of government, the branch that implements the laws that created by the legislative branch of government and the laws vetted by the judicial branch of government. 

n      The legislative branch is the House of representatives (majelese shourai melli) and Senate(Sana), together these two chambers are called congress. The congress makes the laws.

n      The judiciary branch of government is the supreme court where it determines the constitutionality of the law, every law that passed by the congress must conform to the constitution. 

n      This brings us to a democracy which is a series of laws, rules and regulations created from the people to server the people and be executed by people but people assign their representatives to make the laws, that is where the house of representative comes to life, the members of house of representatives are elected by people with proportionate representation, which means the sates with more population will have more house of representatives, the senate is an institution created to give equal representation to people in contrast to house of representatives which is proportional, in the senate each state will have equal number of senators or representatives, for instance each state will have 2 representatives, if Iran is to have 35 states then the senate will have 70 members, 2 members for each state, the senate also server to ratify the treaties with foreign countries when president sign treaties, in reality the senate approves the presidents treaties with foreign  countries on behalf of people.

n      The senate also acts as the court house if the president is to be recalled, impeached or tried for offences to the country or public, the supreme courtís chief justice will presides as the judge, the Senate is the jury and the members of house of representative will be the prosecutors. The house of representative and senate will have the power to question the president/prime minister and its cabinet members, and demand explanation from them because house of representative and Senate are the people since they represent the people.

n      The same procedures are applied at the state and city level for consistency and relevance.

 

Real Life

n      Here is a real life example.  In United States of America (USA) on December 19, 1998USA house of representatives impeached president Clinton on charges of perjury(sogand shekani va gavahi dorogh) and obstruction of justice(jelogiri va ensedade edalat). The house of representatives (435 members representing entire USA population) was the plaintiff another word people were the plaintiff, the president was the defendant. The House members were the prosecuting attorneys and Senate members(100 members, 2 from each 50 states) were the jury(hai-ate monsefeh ya davaran), Honorable late chief justice William H. Rehnquist was the presiding judge, the trial lasted for almost a year and President Bill Clinton was exonerated(be gonah shenakhteh shod).

n      The justice was served according to Federalism and Democracy, it proved that the president is not above the law. The states stayed out of this issue since the accusations were at the federal level and not at the state level, The states can do the same thing to an elected governor, where the states house of representatives will bring in the charges and the states Senate will serve as Jury and the states Supreme courtís chief justice would be the presiding judge.

n      Every criminal (jenayaee) or civil(madani, such as ekhtelafe mali) trials is tried according to jury(hai-ate Monsefeh) system where for every new trial case a new jury is selected from ordinary people, its mandatory for citizen to server as jury, the ordinary people receive a letter as selected juror and then the defendants' defense lawyers and prosecutors will screen and interview the jurors for not being biased, prejudice and not influenced by news media reporting on the trials or issues. Its not acceptable to select one jury team, one time for every case, every new case and new trial requires new jurors, defendants are judged by the 12 member jury or jurors and not by the judge, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, itís the states job to prove the guilt of the accused, unlike Iran law that the defendant is guilty until proven innocent, the jury delivers the verdict and the judge enforces the jurors verdict, where the judge and police act as executors of the law, therefore the justice is delivered in a fair, impartial and just manner to every one alike. No torture is allowed to extract confession from defendants, coheres and forces confessions are not admissible in the court as evidence, also people have the right to remain silence to avoid self incrimination. The defendants have the option not to testify.

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What This Means

n     The above examples highlights the equal right, equal opportunity, equal social justice, equal political rights, equal economical opportunities, equal job opportunities, equal money lending,Ö for every one.

Next Steps

n     So far we have learnt that Federalism and Democracy compliment each other, Federalism without democracy leads to dictatorship.

 

Distribution of power in Federalism

n      Federalism makes it impossible for the dictators to seize power since the power is not concentrated, instead the power is distributed horizontally among competing political peers.

n      The Constitution which is the supreme law of the Federation spells out the duties and powers of the Federal and State Governments and their relationship.

 

n      At the top is the federal government which is the executive branch, the congress(House and Senate) and judiciary(supreme court), the Federal court of appeals and district courts are part of supreme court, remember that the department of justice is part of the executive branch and its not related to supreme court. The Attorney general is a cabinet position assigned by the president and confirmed by the senate.

n      The federal governments power is limited to what the constitution allows and the constitution is written by people representatives, but the power is vested in people, the federal constitution gives the power to the states for disputes, such as family laws, schools and education, local criminal laws and so forth are delegated to states governments.

n      Each state has its own compliant constitution with the federal constitution.

n      Each state has an elected governor that acts in commander-in-chief and executive of the state to enforce the states law.

n      Each state has its own house of representative and state senate to make laws at the state level.

n      Each state has its own state supreme court.

n      Each state has its own national guard under the governorís command to protect the state from other states and federal governments invasion. This is where that even the thought of coup de taít donít even cross the mind of federal president and military leaders. Each state has a national guard equipped with jet fighters, tanks, artillery, coast guard equipped with navy ships.

n      Each city has an elected mayor and each city has an elected city council to act as local congress to make laws and balance the power with the mayor. The city police is under the command of the mayor, the state governor or the federal governmentís president can not order the city police to any mission, only the mayor can do. The president of federal government can not order the state national guard to any mission, if the country needs more troops, the president will ask the state governor to contribute troops for the mission, an example is Californian, New York, Texas, Arizona, Oregon and the rest of the states have sent their national guards to join the unite states federal Army and Marines to fight terrorism around the world.

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Fear of federalism in Iran

Most Iranian and Baloch mistake Federalism (Federation) with Confederation:

A confederation is a loose treaty between countries or states, in a confederation the central government is very weak and has very limited authority over the

Confederate members, such as European Union is a Confederation which the European Union has no power over the member states, Canada, Australia are a member of British Common Wealth states which is a confederation of governments, the head of the state is Queen Elizabeth in Canada and Australia but United Kingdom has no jurisdiction over the Canadian and Australian affairs and United Kingdom(Britain) can not tell Canada, Australia and other member states what to do, another word United Kingdom despite having an office in Canadian and Australian capitals is not allowed to interfere in their affairs on the other Hand United States of America is a Federation(Federal) and the central government of USA has all the power and authorities to apply on the member states, members states must make their state constitution and law compliant with federal law, another example of federal government is Switzerland and another one is India where central governments laws prevails over the state laws. We hope this clears up the Iranian fear

Of federalism and that is the kind of federalism that we have in mind for Iran and Balochistan.

Most of the Iranian thinks that federalism means cessation while unaware that most of the Iranian political philosophy and history has been alternated and tampered with by the religious so called intellectuals. Such traitors are Dr. Ali Shariati, Mohandes(engineer) Bazargahn, Jalal Aal Ahmad. All these so called intellectuals mentioned above were very confused individuals who could not choose between harsh Islamic rules and democracy and they came up with alternated, incomplete and confusing democracy concepts. Its is ironic and even ridiculous that Jalal Aal Ahmad went to New York for a visit for one week(just 7 days) and went back to Iran and claim to be an expert about West and wrote the Gharb zadagi book, cheekiness has a limit but not for Jalal Aal Ahmad, while it takes 8 years of study to become an expert about any country or region after the high school, he claimed to be a west expert in one week,Because of these type of intellectuals in Iran, the democracy movement after 200 years of sacrificing life and blood of Iranian have not reached its goal while other nations after a brief fight for democracy achieve their goals. Federalism is a uniting factor and not a dividing factor, the fear of federalism is created by the Iranian elite who want monopoly of power for themselves and their deep rooted believe in racism that Persian race is better then the other races, thatís why they subjugate the great people of Baloch, Kurd, Azeri, Lor, Turkmen. If Iran is changed to be a federal country with democracy we will see other lost territories of Iran such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan to rejoin the mother land and Iranian union, even Georgia may rejoin Iran. The proof is Porto Rico, Guam, Hawaii joining the United States. When the federal government doesnít interfere with states affairs, there is no reason not joining the union. Achaemenian and Sasanid dysnasties (Minus the Kings, we donít advocate kingdom) were successful federal governments with ancient democracy, that is why they were able to expand the Persian Empire to India to the east and Egypt to the west.

 

Type of democracy

n      There is many types of democracy but the two famous one are presidential and parliamentary democracies.

n      Bear in mind that the best democracy is a constitutional democracy (democracy mashroot), itís a democracy that isís boundaries are set by the constitution. since the definition of democracy is majority rule when implemented this way, the majority can limits the minority rights and even can take away the minorities rights, for this reason and only this reason the constitutional democracy is a democracy that stops the majority from taking away the minorities rights and establishes equal rights for every body, under a constitutional democracy the majorities and minorities have equal social, economical, political, cultural rights that these rights are inviolable. The separation of religion from the state(government) at all level is mandatory under such a democracy. Government or state will not fund any religious activity and will not promote any religion, religion should do what it does best and that is promoting itself without the help from government. Religion is a private matter and must stay private in the heart of people.

 

n      Presidential democracy is a democracy that the president is elected directly by peopleís direct free and confidential vote, the post of prime minister doesnít exist, the president and his cabinet is the executive branch of government, all the government departments such as defense, agriculture, health, justice fall under his/her jurisdiction. This constitutes the executive branch of government, the branch that implements the laws that created by the legislative branch of government and the laws vetted by the judicial branch of government.  For instance united States of America is a presidential democracy.

n      Parliamentary democracy is that people elect the party officials as parliament members and the party that has majority in parliament will choose the prime minister or the president. The post of president exist in most of the parliamentary democracies as a symbolic position and for political reason, the symbolic presidential position could be used for political compromises such as in current Iraq where the post of president is given to Kurds and post of parliament speaker is given to Sunni Muslims. India has a parliamentary democracy and the president doesnít have any political power. 

 

What is best for Iran

n      Federalism is best suited for Iran because of many nationalities living Iran,  some may argue that Iran is not a multi-national country but then they have to prove that Arabs, Azeri Turks and Turkmen are not a nationality. Arabs have their own language and culture, there is 22 Arabic countries, Turkey is a big country with Turkish language, Turkmen are another branch of Turkish decedents. They have to prove that Baloch and Kurds are not a nationality.

n      Persian is a modified version of Balochi and Kurdish language mixed with Arabic.

n      An Iranian federal government will make a strong United States of Iran and will return Iran to its old glories with separation of religion and government and politics.

What is best for Balochistan

n      Since Balochistan used to be and still is a union of confederated tribes therefore Balochistan should be administered under a federal system at the state level. It should have its own state constitution where some of the Balochi democratic tribal traditions could be utilized.

n      All government important and high level positions are awarded to nominees who stand for election, by direct people vote, the reason is for the elected people to do a good job, if the elected official donít do a good, they can be recalled or the same failed official would not be elected in next term, therefore people have direct supervision of their representatives with free media monitoring the activities of elected official.

n      Media must be free and freedom of press and expression must be guaranteed. 

n      The governor shall be elected by people direct, free and confidential vote.

n      It should have state house of representatives and state senate.

n      It should have state supreme court.

n      All three branches of Balochistan government are equal, any proposed law must be confirmed by state house of representative and Senate, the governor shall sign the law and the supreme court should have the right to overturn the law that it sees unconstitutional.

n      The governor will have the veto power unless its overridden by a house or senate 2/3rd majority.

n      Balochistan state must have its own national guard to protect the state from overtakes by central government. The National Guard force and state police will be under governorís direct command.

n      The cities shall have elected mayors and city council, the counties representatives are elected as well. 

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