Checks & Balances in US: Change in the Air?
During my college days when I studied political science (and even later in life), what fascinated me most while going through various constitutions in the world, was the US system of ‘checks and balances’ to ensure maximum freedom in all aspects of American life. There have been challenges in the past (and present) but somehow this provision helps the US triumph over odds.
Interestingly, ‘Separation of Powers’, a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the governance of democratic states.
Montesquieu’s two most important works are The Persian Letters and The Spirit of Laws. These works share certain themes — most notably a fascination with non-European societies and a horror of despotism.
I don’t want to bore you further…There is an interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the light at the end of the tunnel…that checks and balances have finally returned in the USA’s capital after six years of one-party rule.
“The shift in power has made it impossible for the White House to control a series of scandals in recent weeks, from the mistreatment of injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to the controversial firings of eight federal prosecutors.
“The change was clear the day after the Nov. 7 elections, when Bush dismissed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Democrats had called for Rumsfeld’s dismissal for years, but it was the voters’ clearly expressed anger over the Iraq war that forced the move.
“In recent weeks, the controversies have snowballed, prompting the usually assertive White House to play defense…”