Friday, August 27, 2010

In defense of Federalism - a case for Iran

Recently, there was an article that appeared in the PBS-sponsored Tehran Bureau in which a city-centric democracy is introduced as a possible system of governance in a future Iran. The writer opens his arguments with a short introduction about the inefficiencies of a centralized system and the present issues that have arisen in Iran's modern history in such a state structure. The writer proceeds to discuss two alternatives, namely, a city-centric system and the better-known federal democracy. The latter is a case that is less-favored by this writer, but his arguments against a federal democracy are weak and fail to acknowledge that there are several variations of this type of system that could successfully be applied to any country irrespective of its ethnic makeup or resource distribution. The writer puts all federal systems in the same category rather than identifying possible scenarios to avoid when constructing such a system. Furthermore, he fails to acknowledge the importance of the representation at the national level that is offered by a federal system.