What if every measure in each state had to be approved by majorities in two houses? One house would represent the people in the state. The second house would be made entirely of members representing other states. Each state could elect representatives to be sent to each of the other states in the federation (or whatever the term should be). By requiring approval of both houses it prevents both the single state from being a nuisance to its neighbors, and prevents the neighborhood from overruling the desires of the citizens of the state. In this model, there is no centralized government to go bad, but every state is still forced to respect the sensitivities of the others.
What do you think?