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US constitution and reform

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Introduction

'The Constitution is in fundamental need of reform'. Discuss. The fact that the Constitution has survived for over two hundred years without being fundamentally altered shows that its essential strength. It has adjusted to the diversity and complexity of contemporary American society. It is striking that few commentators believe that the Constitution requires radical change and even those most critical of the current political system still claim that the principles it embodies remain valid. The relevance of the Constitution's principles associated with democracy remain resilient. The survival and strength of the Constitution may also be attributed to the amendments it has adopted and the Supreme Courts role in interpreting it. In order to assess the constitution we must look at the goal set by the 'Founding Fathers'. The founders set out to create a government that would be effective but limited. ...read more.

Middle

Another valid reason that emphasises the need for reform. It is claimed by the committee of the Constitutional system that the core principle of the US system - the separation of powers - has encouraged 'confrontation, indecision and deadlock'. The conflict encouraged by the powers creates weak parties. Critics believe that reforms should be made in the US political system to strengthen the Presidency and increase the internal cohesion of the parties. They suggest that the President should be able to appoint members of Congress to the cabinet so as to establish closer and less confrontational relationship between the two institutions. The president would then be going against the separation of powers, which is at the core of the US political system. The president should have the power to dissolve Congress as the British PM can in the UK. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Tenth Amendment has been forgotten which places the principal responsibilities of government with the states. The federal judiciary has abused judicial review. Conservative critics propose a number of amendments to the Constitution, or seek to establish a different understanding of its articles and amendments. They back an argument which would impose term limits on members of Congress. In most of the proposals, federal legislatures would be limited to twelve year periods. Such a reform would recreate a 'citizen legislature' that would hopefully be more closely tied with the people it purports to represent. The Balanced Budget amendment would require the federal government to balance its revenues and expenditures. It would only be able to borrow in times of war or emergencies. The Tax Limitation amendment would limit the amount federal government could tax as a proportion of the GNP. There should also be stronger emphasis on the tenth amendment by all three branches of government and recognition of state's rights. Some conservatives have also called for curbs on the role of federal government. ...read more.

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