Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism of the United States of America under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of parity between the two levels of government established. It can thus be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of powers between two levels of government of equal status.
Federalism differs from confederalism, in which the general level of government is subordinate to the regional level, and from devolution within a unitary state, in which the regional level of government is subordinate to the general level. It represents the central form in the pathway of regional integration or separation, bounded on the less integrated side by confederalism and on the more integrated side by devolution within a unitary state.
Leading examples of the federation or federal state include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and India. Some also today characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed the federal union of states....LESS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is upholding federal limits on political parties' use of so-called soft money for federal elections. A three-judge court in Washington, D.C., had earlier upheld the restrictions in a challenge brought by Louisiana Republicans. Political parties may only use money they raise through the federal system for elections for Congress and president. This money often is called hard money because it is raised under rules limiting the size of contributions and requiring disclosure of its source.