Read from Common Sense Government:
Publius clearly thought that a system which could divide power as much as possible while still maintaining the ability to govern would be the safest option. The power surrendered by the people is first divided into two governments in the federalist scheme. After that, it is further divided among the competing branches of the federal government. In the end, he says, a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments, and the various branches of the federal government, will control each other to the fullest extent possible.
To get a better sense of what the separation of powers looks like in practice, consider this: President Obama, in his first week in office, declared by Executive Order that the prison at Guantanamo Bay was to be closed within one year. It’s still open. You can get a sense of the difficulties experienced by one branch, in this case the executive branch, in the American constitutional system by watching this video:
1. Would we be better off with a more efficient government? Provide some examples of where you think the “slowing down” has been good, and other examples where you think it has been bad for the country.
2. The speaker in the video, James Harrigan Ph. D, argues that dictatorships are the most truly efficient form of government. Can you think of examples of “good” dictatorships? Does our complicated system speak well, or poorly, of the Founders who designed it?