Federalism and Separation of Power

Topics: Separation of powers, Democracy, Legislature Pages: 4 (1379 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Democracy as a system of political administration has been termed over years as a product of several institutions working together to ensure the sustainability of an exclusive political system. Democratic institutions in a state are saddled with the responsibility of sustaining a nation’s democratic process such institutions like legislature, judiciary and the executive are the major institutions that guarantee efficiency in a democratic system.( Ologbenla 1996) Basically, the legislative arm is the major institution that guarantees such because it represents the generality of the people’s interest. The doctrines of separation of power and checks and balances are two major tenets of democracy. Both doctrines provide basic principles that should be upheld in any democratic state. The adherence to these democratic tenets depends largely on the level of political adherence that follows the basic rules and regulations that guides the conduct of both the ruler and the ruled in an exclusive political community. Such rules and regulation are codified in a document known as constitution. A constitution is a legal framework that spells out the composition, function, and jurisdiction of government officials. (Almond et al. 1966) It is a body of fundamental rules guiding the affairs of state. It states the relationship between the governors and the governed. Separation of powers is a doctrine propounded by Baron de' Montesquieu which stipulates that in order to avoid arbitrary use of power, power should be decentralised and shared among the organs of government such that no organ becomes too powerful.(Neumann 1949) The principle of checks and balances states that an organ of government should act as a watchdog on the other organs of government so as to curb their excesses. In a democratic system all governmental powers are derived from the constitution, it also spells out the functions and relationship of major governmental institutions such as the executive, judiciary...
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