• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the effectiveness of the checks and balances system of the American Government. and FPTP ESSAY

Extracts from this document...


Examine the effectiveness of the checks and balances system of the American Government. In drafting the American constitution the Framers are believed to have incorporated some of the best features to a constitution, including the separation of powers. This concept limits the power of the American government through several means, particularly by dividing the powers of the government between three branches in government. Each branch checks the actions of the other and balances their power in some way. The Legislature (Congress) is responsible for making laws. After a law is proposed as a bill, it is sent to appropriate committees for several stages of discussion, research, and modification. It is then debated in both legislative houses, if the law is passed; it is still subject to further modification and final vote by both houses. Under the system of checks and balances, the president can refuse to sign the bill into law (through the veto power). The legislature can then vote to override the veto. Other checks and balances include legislative powers to impeach public officials, confirm appointments to the executive and judicial branches, and vote on appropriations. In 1987, the Senate rejected President Reagan's nominee, Robert Bork, for a place in the Supreme Court. ...read more.


For example, the president is given the power to make treaties with foreign countries, but those treaties must be approved by the Senate by a two-thirds majority. Congress can override the presidential veto and impeach the president; they can also reject the president's appointments. Congress also has the power to conduct investigations into the president's actions and can refuse to pass laws or provide funding that the president requires. The Judiciary can declare executive actions unconstitutional and has the power to issue warrants. These checks and balances are good; however, if Congress is mostly Republican and the President is a Democrat then not many laws can be passed effectively, causing Gridlock. Nevertheless, checks and balances prevent any one branch from accumulating too much power and encourage cooperation between branches as well as comprehensive debate on controversial policy issues. Therefore, I believe the system is effective and works. The First past the post system is used in British parliamentary elections. Each elector has a single vote, and this is cast, in single member constituencies for one candidate. The winner will be the candidate who has the most votes. There are many advantages to the FPTP system, the first and foremost being it is familiar with the electorate, it is simple to cast and count the votes and because of this there is no mass movement for change. ...read more.


any other candidate will be likely to be wasted and have no impact on the final result -"wasted vote syndrome", this is usually shown by falling turnout. Many politicians are elected with a minority of the votes cast, therefore constraining the mandate that they have elected as politicians. In ultra safe seats, party members effectively "select" the MP therefore giving more power to the local/national party selection panel rather than the voters themselves. This causes the difficulty that all other voters in the constituency can then make no difference to the result, since the winner of the seat is already known in advance. This results in serious feelings of disenfranchisement. The FPTP system has not proved to be good at promoting a broader political representation for women and ethnic minorities who continue to be grossly under-represented in Parliament. The FPTP system is currently the system being used in the British parliamentary system and although there are many criticisms against the systems, there have been no major problems with the way the system runs. Britain is still a democracy and has a very strong government as opposed to coalition governments that have been formed under proportional representation, as in Germany. Although the system has it flaws, it seems to be best suited to our country. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The US system of checks and balances is ineffective, discuss.

    3 star(s)

    The Judicial Branch is given the power to interpret the laws. It also has checks over the Executive Branch including that Judges, once appointed for life, are free from controls from the executive branch which allows courts can judge executive actions to be unconstitutional through the power of judicial review.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Are supreme court justices politicians in disguise?

    4 star(s)

    to privacy that the court said was not written into the constitution but that, they claimed, the founding fathers had implied in writing the constitution. Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the majority opinion, stated that the Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to privacy but, "in varying contexts

  1. How effective are the checks and balances of the Constitution today?

    power to override their decision with a Presidential pardon, this, in theory, gives the President complete power over the judiciary, but the judiciary can retaliate using its own checks and balances.

  2. Checks and Balances in the US system

    These set of checks also allow the people to have an indirect voice in setting the judicial system and changing the laws that the courts follow as passed by the representatives of the people. However, unique to the legislature is its ability to check itself since it is composed of

  1. Free essay

    Should the primary system be reformed?

    Few Americans take an active interest in what happens in D.C. on a daily basis, but lengthy election cycles bring D.C. to the people. It promotes civic responsibility. Perhaps the more credible defence of the primary system pertains to so-called "retail politics".

  2. A Passage of a Bill Through the American and Canadian Governments

    After the draft is approved by the same minister, it is presented to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and House Planning. Once this committee has approved the draft bill, it is then signed by the prime minister and introduced in the House of Commons in its first reading by the responsible minister.

  1. US politics.The constitutional system of checks and balances does not work in practice. Discuss.

    Bush in his state of Union Address in January 2002 where he tried to get congress to focus on the so-called war of terrorism and his budget priorities. However, the legislature also have the power to amend, block or reject items of legislation recommended by the president, as was in

  2. American Government Term Paper #1. Discuss the theory of Checks and Balances as outlined ...

    In order to escape a monarchy like the one they were used to under British rule, the Framers came up with a system of ?checks and balances?. Checks and balances keep one branch of government from having too much power over other branches of government.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work