For any democratic country, the Constitution is the source the people’s basic rights. It also functions as the shield of the people against oppressive acts of their people or the people who are serving in the government. There can be no document more powerful in a democratic country than the constitution.
Through the Constitution, the people are able to check on their leaders and determine of they are acting within or beyond the powers granted to them. Constitution should reflect the desires of the people because supreme authority emanates from them. However, Brutus (1787) doubts the language and the intent of the United States Constitution. He expounds in his commentary the need to look deeper into the provisions of the Constitution and examine how these provisions are being realized in real life.
Brutus (1787) questions the confederation of the United States government. United States of America is composed of thirteen states. In every state there is a different set of laws that are being imposed and there are also lower courts as well as Supreme Court. The US Government, to which the seat of the President lies, looks over into the state governments and makes sure that they are acting within the ambit of the power granted to them. Although living on their own, the state governments remain accountable to the central government. The central or the federal government is provided by the Constitution with vast powers that they can encroach on state governments anytime they want.
The legislative branch of the central government can enact any form of law so long as it conforms with the basic requirements in the Constitution. The problem with the Constitutional provisions is the absolute right of the federal government to interfere with the affairs of the state governments. This, according to Brutus (1787), is just like slashing powers from the state governments and rendering them useless. If the powers of the state governments can be sustained anytime by the central government then it is tantamount to the creation of a single republic for all thirteen states.
The question is whether or not a confederation of governments or a single republic is best for America. The benefit of a single republic is the unity of laws that are implemented within the entire territory. The people need not adjust to the different laws that are being implemented in every state. However, the negative part of a republic is the lack of sufficient attention given to every state or region. A single government for the entire thirteen states is effective if the people are in all states are homogenous and the problems they face are also alike. However, reality would indicate that this is not the case.
America has a vast territory and population. Placing the country under a single regime will make governance difficult. The territory alone would indicate the monstrosity of the task attached with governance. Every region has its own concerns that needs to be addressed and the government cannot give the adequate solution to these problems if it is so distant from the people and the region. Smaller republics will enable the government to attend to these needs in a better light.
Better solutions are arrived at if there is a holistic approach to the problem. In this regard, there should be a single government for every region or every place wherein there is homogeneity of the people, topography and problems. It will be easier to address issues if a government is concentrated only to specific problems and not when they are bombarded with varying difficulties from the different regions.
Madison (1788) on the other hand rejects the idea of Brutus on homogeneity and the creation of small republics. According to Madison (1788), there is a need for a single republic only in order to better facilitate the laws. The enactment of conflicting laws in a single territory will not only cause confusion but even chaos among the people. In every society, unity can never be achieved. There will always be two sides to an issue and to a community. No single view can be attained thus, a homogenous government will never work (Madison, 1787).
Instead of creating separate republics, the government should just resort to providing clearer powers among the departments and agencies of the government. If they are given a specific to concentrate on then, like the republics they could also give adequate solution to problem areas. Moreover, clear cut definition of the roles that these agencies will play paves the way for a lesser avenue in which government officials will abuse their powers and use their positions in order to advance their interests. It will be easier for the public to counter the irregularities that they are doing (Madison, 1788).
A government should work for the interest of everyone and not only for the interests of the few. The good common should prevail over the interests of the few, this is the reason why there is a need for representatives, to determine the real pulse of the people over an issue. A representative echoes the sentiments and the views of their constituents and it is through them the government is able to determine what the majority wants and which rule should prevail.
Brutus. “To the Citizens of New York.” 1787. Constitution Society. 29 October 2008
Madison, J. The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances
Between the Different Departments. 6 February 1788. Independent Journal 29 October 2008 <http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm>
Madison, J. The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
(continued). 22 November 1787. Daily Advertiser. 29 October 2008 <http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm>