He article 1 of the National Constitution establishes that the Argentine nation adopts the representative, republican and federal form of government for its government. The first two concepts refer to forms of government, while the last refers to a form of State that determines the relationship between power and territory.
Argentine federalism is configured, after a long fight of the provinces against centralism and the management of the port of Buenos Aires. The provinces emphatically demanded the full exercise of their autonomy. As one of its greatest exponents is the Governor of Corrientes Pedro Ferré, considered one of the founders of Argentine federal thought and main antagonist of Juan Manuel de Rosas.
Corrientes led the fight of the provinces against the central power and based his preaching on the fact that since 1821 he had his provisional regulations and later on the Constitution of 1824 that established the first republican government regime incorporating the division of powers and the recognition of individual rights and guarantees. This institutional design divided into two parts: the declarations, rights and guarantees and the organization of power is a precursor to the institutional organization of the Constitutional Court of 1853.
As an emblematic example, we can cite the text of 1824 that defines “the person of man as the most beautiful thing in the world”, with echoes of the principles of the Rights of Man.
The province of Corrientes led federal ideas in the 19th century and freedom, which, since it was not reflected in concrete actions, led to the need to confront the central power in bloody internal struggles. The flag that Corrientes carried read and still reads the legend: “Homeland, Freedom, Constitution”summarizing the reasons for their fight.
The supporters of federalism fought for different levels of government, in a scheme of political decentralization, through which they could choose their authorities and, of course, administer themselves within a level of autonomy.
The historical marks of these struggles will be expressly reflected in the Federal Pact of 1831fundamental antecedent, together with the Agreement of San Nicolas, of the Constitution of 1853. The underlying idea is the preexistence of the provinces in relation to the nation.
The inequitable distribution of resources
All these ideas and struggles have not managed to consolidate federalism in practice and that is why the recurrence of conflicts expressed in the constant claims of the provinces before the central government and even before the Supreme Court of Justice for the equitable distribution of resources.
The examples multiply although we can point out the current claim of the provinces in relation to the distribution of income tax, the Country Tax, subsidies for public transportation, energy, pension funds, public works unilaterally left without effect by the nation and that the provinces must now face.
On the other hand, it is necessary to highlight what supports the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation in the following terms: “As federalism is a cultural system of coexistence whose component parts do not act in isolation, but rather interact in order to achieve a purpose that explains its existence and functioning, the exercise of its constitutionally assigned powers must be considered as an interaction articulated. Rulings: “La Pampa, Province of/” 340:1695. /”Corrientes, Province of Fallos 344: 251.
The Court has also said: “The Argentine federal system is based on the principle of federal loyalty or federal good faith, according to which in the harmonious and dual game of powers, the abuse of the powers of one State to the detriment of the others must be avoided. . This way, The federal ideology on which our system of government rests is based on the basis that the National State, the provinces, the municipalities and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires coordinate their powers., to help each other and never to destroy each other.” The cause is Bazán, Failures 342: 509, Telefónica Argentina, Failures 342:061. Vote of judges Maqueda and Rosatti.
Later, in the same case, the Court maintains: “in summary, the harmonious development of the federal system of government depends on good faith, coordination and reciprocal agreement between the different levels of government, that is, Nation, Province. , Municipalities and Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. For these principles constitute the reasonable way to combine the different interests at stake and channel them towards the satisfaction of the common good.”
It is also necessary to highlight that historically the jurisprudence of the Court and the Doctrine from the first moment recognized that The powers of the provinces are original and indefinite, while those corresponding to the Nation are delegated.
In this sense, Dr. Dardo Ramírez Braschi maintains that Federalism must be synonymous with equity, equality and also acting with good faith, which is what the Court maintains. However, at this point we must ask ourselves, have these principles been met?
In light of the aforementioned background, we must highlight the need to rethink a new federalism that can contain not only current demands, but also think about the future. A federal system is dynamic, there is no single model. Argentina’s background has been taken from the federal scheme sanctioned in the United States Constitution, although each nation reconfigures its own norm according to its characteristics and culture.
Today more than ever it is necessary to consider and lay the foundations for a current federalism based on broad consensus and equity that projects us to a horizon of sustained and predictable progress. The political debate of this time cannot leave federalism out if we want to build a just and modern Nation that contemplates clear norms as the constituents of 1853 wanted.
The idea of federalism, therefore, is unavoidable when defining the profile of our nation. We come from that tradition and we are going together towards that horizon as our founding fathers believed: to travel the path of the future with the national constitution as a navigation chart.
* Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Province of Corrientes. Lawyer. Doctor of Law, National University of the Northeast. Full Professor of Introduction to Law, Faculty of Law and Social and Political Sciences Unne.
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