The advantages of federalism are that it provides a local perspective on politics, and allows for local governments to handle and respond to regional issues faster than a national government. It also allows for the national government to insure that the local governments do not abuse their power, and vice-versa. Federalism creates the “laboratories of democracy” addressed in question 9. It allows for greater participation in the political process. One of the biggest disadvantages I see in federalism is lines of communication. In a federalist system you have multiple levels of government that have to communicate with each other, and sometimes things get mixed up in the process of communicating. There is no one policy for a nation, in the US there are 50 (51 including Puerto Rico) different policies for different issues. When it comes to controversial problems, such as same-sex marriage recognition, the different policies cause problems.
It differs from other systems in that the voters have a direct say in all levels of government. In a unitary system the voters choose the central government, which then chooses the regional governments. In a confederate system the