federalism

On the 3rd of June, Real Madrid made history by winning the European Champions League Cup back to back. As the players celebrated, the Captain of Real Madrid Sergio Ramos gleefully tied a Green White Green flag around his waist as he ran around receiving hi 5’s for a job well done.

That flag is the flag of Andalusia, one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain.The Andalusian Autonomous Government (Junta de Andalucía) is the institution of self-government of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

The Regional Government of Andalusia (Spanish: Junta de Andalucía) includes the Parliament of Andalusia, its chosen president, a Consultative Council, and other bodies.

Sergio Ramos is Andalusian, the flag has the Andalusian coat of arms which shows the figure of Hercules and two lions between the two pillars of Hercules that tradition situates on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar. An inscription below, superimposed on an image of the flag reads Andalucía por sí, para España y la Humanidad meaning Andalusia for herself, Spain and Humanity.

Nobody in Spain or Europe accused Sergio Ramos of being less Spanish for identifying with, and projecting his native Andalusia at a world stage.


To everybody, Sergio Ramos is, and can be proudly Andalusian, and Spanish at the same time. Identifying with one is not a negation or rejection of the other.

William S. Livingston in “Federalism and Constitutional
Change” defined “Federal government as a form of political and constitutional organization that unites into a single polity a number of diversified groups or component polities so that the personality and individuality of the component parts are largely preserved while creating in the new totality a separate and distinct political and constitutional unit. The key word here is “Personality and Individuality”.

Those who complain that after restructuring we will still ask for more restructuring should be reminded that adaptability is a requisite for a successful federalism. Change is a continuous process.

In the last 20 years, we have witnessed so many nation states restructure to adapt to either external or internal changes or even demands of their people.

Those that have lived together for over 500 years are still discussing the terms of their unity, but for you we “ours is non-negotiable”

This view was held by Carl J. Friedrich who outlined in his book “Trends of Federalism in Theory and Practice” that federalism should be seen as a process and not as a static, legalistic concept.

According to him, since social, economic and political conditions are constantly changing, it follows that “any federal relationship requires effective and built-in arrangements through which [the] rules can be recurrently changed upon the initiative and consent of the federated
entities.”

So when next you sit down and watch England and Scotland play against each other in a World Cup qualifier, do not forget that both are in one country; Great Britain.

When you accept these developments elsewhere but demonise those who propose same here at home, then something is wrong with your reasoning.

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