The United States government comprises three branches, namely the legislative, executive, and judicial. In order to ensure that none of the branches assumes more power than the others, the framers of the constitution elaborated a system of checks and balances which would help limit and control the branches’ jurisdictions. The distribution of authority helps in guarding the country against tyranny misuse of government resources. Consequently, with checks and balances, any decisions made by one branch of the government have to be confirmed by the rest.
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An example of this tenet is that although the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, Congress regulates funds allocated to the military. Additionally, the president cannot declare war unless he or she is supported by the legislative through votes. This thwarts any possibilities of the president using the military for the wrong course. Similarly, the executive has the ability to disallow a bill passed in Congress. However, the president’s move can still be overruled provided two-thirds of the members vote against the decision. Checks and balances tasks each branch with the responsibility of supervising the other, reducing the chances of misuse of power.
In 1787, the Constitutional Convention created an all-new government that encouraged a representative democracy rather than the traditional one. One of the issues this group identified was that direct democracy hindered transparency and accountability since voters had limited authority to question their leaders’ actions. Consequently, separation of powers and checks and balances in the U.S. were cemented by the establishment of a representative government. The new system of governance spearheaded by the federalists supported the protection of the citizen rights from corrupt governmental leaders. Therefore, giving voters the power to elect their preferred candidates was the best approach in achieving the federalists’ goal. Through representative democracy, citizens have a say in policy and law-making indirectly.