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Federalism in Nigeria has strengthened ethnic conflicts

Hanson, writer for the Council on Foreign Relations, 2007
(Stephanie Hanson, “Nigeria’s Creaky Political System” http://www.cfr.org/publication/13079/nigerias_creaky_political_system.html April 12)


How does the federalist structure influence ethnic and regional tensions? Experts say the dysfunctional federalist structure, while limiting the national influence of any single ethnic group, has inflamed ethnic conflict within states and local communities. An International Crisis Group report says the “cancerous growth of state structures” has created bureaucratic obstacles, administrative rivalries, and a proliferation of “minorities” within the numerous local government areas. Nigeria contains more than 250 ethnolinguistic groups and about seventy “nationalities.” Roughly half Nigeria’s states have primary ethnic identities, but since the country’s independence in 1960, the influence of the majority ethnic group in each state has waned as the government structure has expanded. Suberu argues that this expansion mitigates ethnic tension by diluting the intensity of conflict between the country’s three main ethnic groups. While there have not been any national ethnic conflicts, Lewis notes that there is an upward trend in overall ethnic incidents at the local level. Since 1999, more than three million have been displaced and at least fourteen thousand killed by interethnic conflicts, most of which stemmed from a constitutional provision instituted in 1979 that differentiates between the so-called “indigenes” of a states and “settlers” or “non-indigenes.” “There are not large heavily mobilized ethnic militias or ethnic blocs,” he says. “There is no single fault line driving these things.” A Council Special Report on Nigeria writes that almost all of these conflicts are over resources. “Trading privileges, employment possibilities, welfare payments, water access, and land rights are continually contested,” it says.

Indonesia Models US Federalism



Indonesian Federalism is modeled on the U.S.
Moll, former volunteer in Indonesia, 2001

(Jason, April 22, 2001, "All the Trouble in Indonesia," Washington Times, Cfbato)
The recent violence in Borneo highlighted an issue the Indonesian government has been determined to avoid, even though it begs urgent attention. The question is: How does an infant democracy peacefully incorporate hundreds of ethnic groups, scattered among thousands of islands, into a regime in which ethnic Javanese rule from distant Jakarta?     A conclusive answer - if there is one - won't be easy.     Indonesia could drastically improve the current situation by discarding its traditional top-down style of governing and grant more autonomy to provinces when it comes to finances and day-to-day affairs. American federalism is a model for Indonesia when it comes to distributing power to the local level.

 
US is global model for federalism


Herbert London, President Hudson Institute and Professor Emeritus NYU, 2000

("The Enemy Within," American Outlook, Spring http://ao.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=article_detail&id=1398, Cfbato)
Fourth, the United States possesses a sense of moral universalism that exists nowhere else. When one talks about some sort of example—a model of human rights, constitutionalism, subsidiarity, rule of law, and property rights—the United States stands alone. It is the model. Not long ago several Hudson Institute scholars had the opportunity to spend some time in Indonesia, and we found that Indonesia does not turn for its models to China or Japan; it looks to the United States. The new Indonesian president is very keen on establishing a form of federalism. What does he look to? The American Constitution.

Indonesia models the US constitution
South China Morning Post, October 15, 2004 (“Vote of confidence” Lexis)
Indonesia's political framework is based on the 1945 constitution, which, with modification, has provided the present system mixing presidential and parliamentary styles of government. After more than three decades under Suharto, lawmakers were eager to move as quickly as possible to the philosophy behind their country's founding - democracy.Dr Chusnul believed that attaining that goal after having no viable opposition for so long would be a matter of political evolution. As a democratically -elected president, Dr Susilo would have to learn how to deal with the parliament. "This is a new era of implementation of the constitution," Dr Chusnul said. "But there are in-built safeguards to this presidential system with checks and balances between the president and parliament."
The original model had been the American political model, but rather than using the Electoral College system, direct election of the president by the people through a popular vote had been substituted. Modifications had also been made by altering the two-party US system to give equal share of influence to a multi-party system.



Indonesia models US Federalism – This is key to Indonesian stability.
Dillon, Senior policy analyst at the Asian Studies Center, 2000

(Dana Dillon-, April 19, 2000, The Heritage Foundation, “Indonesia and Separatism: Finding a Federalist Solution,” http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/EM670.cfm)
To increase stability in the region and reduce the threat of separatism, more emphasis should be placed on strengthening the newly elected provincial parliaments and governors and devolving more power to the provinces. To assist Indonesia in this effort, the United States should:Promote substantive devolution of power to the provinces. The United States, as the world's foremost constitutionally based federal republic, must clearly articulate its support of federalism. Public diplomacy that promotes devolution of power to the levels of government closest to the people will have the most significant long-term effects.

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