Definition of a unitary system of government, reasons for a adoption of the unitary system of government, features of a unitary system of government, merits of a unitary system of government, and demerits of a unitary system of government.
Definition of a unitary system of government/Unitary State
A unitary system of government can be defined as one in which all powers and authority for the exercise of the functions of running a state are based on the hands of a single central government.
In this respect, power is not shared between the central government and any other component units. However, the central government can appoint powers to the component units introduced by it. These powers are exercised in line with the wishes of the central government.
Features of a Unitary system of government
The following are the features of a Unitary system of government;
- Best practiced in a homogenous state: Unitary system is best practiced where there are no sharp differences in religion, language, political belief etc of the entire population.
- Delegation of functions: The central government can delegate power and functions to other component units.
- Small country: The system is easy to practice in a relatively small country where the government has representatives from every ethnic group in the society.
- Parliamentary supremacy: In Unitary system of government there is parliamentary supremacy in a unitary state. Britain is a good example.
- Flexibility: The constitution of a unitary state is not rigid but flexible.
- No constitutional division of power: There is no such division of powers between the central government and other component units.
7.Source of power: The central government still remains the only source through which power flows to other areas.
- Power concentration: All the powers and authorities of the state are concentrated in the hands of the central government.
- No conflict of authority: Since the central government has all the powers, conflict of authority would not arise.
Advantages of a Unitary system of government/Unitary State
The below listed are advantages of a unitary system of government/Unitary State;
- Less cost: The cost of running a unitary system of government is relatively lower than the federal government. No duplication of functions is experienced in a unitary state.
- Quick action: Quick action is taken in the areas of decision-making and execution. The central government alone takes decision.
- Flexible constitution: The method of amending the constitution is relatively easy because the constitution is flexible. This can enhance quick political and economic advancement.
4.Promotes strong government: A unitary state all other things being equal is Stronger than a federal one. Here, all the powers of governance are concentrated in the hands of one central authority.
- No conflict of authority: There can be no conflict of authority or confusion regarding responsibility for work to be performed, since the central government has all the powers.
- The Absence of red-tape: It is less bureaucratic as opposed to the federal system. Red-tapism slows down action in a federal state but not in a unitary state.
- Unity: Absence of tribalism or sectionalism can bring about unity in a country.
Disadvantages/Demerits of a Unitary system of government/Unitary State
The following are disadvantages of a unitary system of government/Unitary state;
- Poor attention to the local areas: The attention given to the people in the local areas may be poor.
- Dictatorship: A unitary system of government may encourage dictatorship as a result of power concentration in the hands of a single authority.
- Small and homogenous state: A unitary system of government can only work in a small and homogenous state.
- Development: Another disadvantages of a unitary system of government is that the development of the various units of the country could be slow and unprogressive.
- Poor representation in government: The system does not encourage wider representation of the people in the government of their country.
6.Centre of decision-making: This is also one of the disadvantages of a unitary system of government is that the centre of decision-making is very far from the area of implementation.
REASONS FOR THE ADOPTION OF A UNITARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Reasons for the adoption of a Unitary system of government are highlighted below;
1) ABSENCE OF TRIBAL GROUPING:
When there is no marked difference in tribes, a unitary system of government is adopted because no tribe will ever think of dominating others.
2) MANAGEMENT OF FUNCTIONS:
The central government can adequately manage functions and at the same time monitor effectively functions delegated to other component units in unitary system of government.
3) ADEQUATE SUPPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT:
This form of government is suitable and adopted where the people can render adequate support to the sole authority.
4) CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY FACTOR: Another reason for the adoption of a unitary system of government is that, accountability and control are best initiated in a unitary state because it involves a single authority, hence, one of the reasons for the adoption of a unitary system of government.
5) FOR COHERENT AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION:
The government can efficiently prevent waste and duplicate both human and material resources.
6) SMALL COUNTRY: This also one of the reasons for the adoption of Unitary system of government is that it is best for a small country because it will be easy to implement.
7) HOMOGENEOUS FACTOR:
Unitary system of government is best practiced in a state where is no sharp difference in language, religion, political beliefs, etc.
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