Undoubtedly, governments’ check and balance systems have been the most popular ones worldwide because they advocate for justice and democracy. This system ensures that no individual or component of the government possesses absolute country during decision- or policymaking. Check and balance typically consists of three branches of government in which every decision or policy must pass through for approval before being enacted as a law. In the US government, the policymaking role is undertaken collaboratively by three branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Hence, when making policies or laws that will significantly impact the country, the three aforementioned branches must first have a consensus. Where one or two of these branches disagree or propose various amendments based on their interpretation of the policies in question, the process of policymaking experiences some delays. Although some people claim that the check and balance system has detrimental effects on the policymaking process, it is more advantageous than disadvantageous. Therefore, I disagree with the argument that a checks and balances system is detrimental to policymaking.
Checks and Balance Ensures Democracy in a Country
Elimination of checks and balances in the American government system will promote the growth of tyranny in the country. One of the most important roles of a checks and balance system is to ensure no arm of the government is stronger than the other when making policies. Allowing one arm of the government to possess more powers in the policymaking process can lead to the formulation and implementation of policies and laws that are oppressive or retrogressive to a nation. In such an instance, the powerful arm of the government is likely to make policies that favor the personal interests of policy-makers (Madison, 1787). Notably, the non-existence of a check and balance system in America will strengthen the opposition government, which will increase disruption in making fair and just policies. Therefore, instead of the government making laws that promote the public good, policy-makers will focus on policies that will not result in controversy from the left-wing of the government but not because they will benefit the majority of the citizens.
Promotes Sobriety in the Law-Making Process
In addition, the three arms of the government, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary ensure the existence of sobriety in the law-making process. One arm of the government cannot formulate laws that favor the majority’s interests without bias. The check and balance system ensures neutrality exists while making policies that have significant interests to a nation (Madison, 1787). Although those opposing this system argue that it causes delays in the policymaking process, a check and balance system ensures the policies made will benefit the country for a considerable period. The policymaking process should take long and produce quality policies than taking a shorter time and producing oppressive and biased laws.
Promotes Equality and Protection of Rights of the Minority Groups
In a multi-ethnic country like the US, where citizens belong to the majority or minority groups, a check and balance system is essential in policymaking. The absence of or existence of a weak system of government can promote the formulation and implementation of policies that infringe the rights and freedoms of minority groups. Therefore, the check and balance system promotes equality thereby, preventing discrimination of minorities by the majority groups (Potrafke, 2018). The checks and balance system ensures the majority groups respect the rights and properties owned by citizens by minority groups within a country. In addition, the system ensures all people have equal opportunities to thrive and grow economically, socially, and politically. As a result, encouraging checks and balances to thrive within a country promoted peace and democracy among its citizens regardless of their background differences.
Ensuring Protection of the Constitution
Moreover, a check and balance system is advantageous to a country as it ensures the power of a country’s constitution is protected from abuse by a few powerful individuals within the government. Although the president is the most powerful individual within a country, they cannot make policies or pass laws alone without the approval of other branches of the government (Potrafke, 2018). This aspect is essential as it protects most citizens from suffering the adverse impacts resulting from decisions made by a single person. For instance, if a president uses his executive powers to impose punitive policies, the legislature overrides such laws through the majority vote. On the same, even if the legislature passes such a law for personal interests, the judiciary can reject it based on constitutionality and the principle of the greater good.
Adapting the Existing Laws to the Prevailing Conditions
Separation of powers within the government is vital, as it makes the law-making process a continuous and flexible process. Without a check and balance system in place, the government would be making static policies regardless of their popularity or rejection by people. For this reason, democracy would only exist theoretically, but not practically. Checks and balances allow each branch of the government to review the policies made and give their views on the benefits of such policies to the citizens (Manuel & Cammisa, 2019). Where a policy fails to meet the thresholds of approval by either of these branches for certain reasons, the policy can be subject to further amendment or total rejection. When a certain law saw a successful enactment because its conditions were suitable at the moment of its making, such a law is always subject to amendment through a check and balance system. This window of amendment ensures that the existing laws are adaptive to the changing conditions of the country. Therefore, checks and balances are an important system in ensuring the validity of laws governing a country at any given time.
Promotes Independence of Each Branch of Government
Weakening the check and balance system compromises the independence of each branch of government. Without this independence, it becomes impossible for a government to make laws that collaboratively meet a country’s expectations. For instance, if the judiciary becomes corrupted or intimidated by the executive branch, the check and balance system becomes dysfunctional (Madison, 1787). In such an instance, the judiciary can make wrong judgments on a given policy. As a result, other branches can allow one branch to make inadequate policies to govern a nation properly. In as much as some people regard the checks and balance system as detrimental to the policymaking process, it safeguards the independence of branches of the government that play significant role in making policies.
In conclusion, the check and balance system has been a popular government system for centuries globally and will continue for its advantages, which outweigh disadvantages. One advantage of a check and balance system is that it protects a country from the violence and insurrection of leftism. Additionally, the system ensures that lawmakers are cautious not to formulate and implement oppressive policies. Checks and balances ensure the existing laws adapt to the prevailing conditions. Therefore, the argument that a check and balance system is detrimental to the policymaking process is misleading.
Madison, J. (1787). Federalist No. 10: The same subject continued: The union as a safeguard against domestic faction and insurrection. New York Daily Advertiser, 22.
Manuel, P. C., & Cammisa, A. M. (2019). Checks and balances? How a parliamentary system could change American politics? Routledge.
Potrafke, N. (2018). Government ideology and economic policymaking in the United States— A survey. Public Choice, 174(1), 145-207.