Aristotle favored a mixed government composed of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, seeing none as ideal, but a mix of the three useful by combining the best aspects of each. The framers of the Constitution took all of these ideas and converted the theories into practical applications.
When discussing Separation of Power, is it helpful to contrast the American System to the governments of other nations.
The Supreme Court can rule a law to be unconstitutional, but the Congress, with the States, can amend the Constitution.
All of these checks and balances, however, are inefficient. By forcing the various branches to be accountable to the others, no one branch can usurp enough power to become dominant.
Most bills passed into law originate with the Government.
The President presides over the Cabinet, and has vast emergency powers.The President does not have veto power over legislation, but can ask Parliament to reconsider a bill.The Prime Minister heads The Government, akin to the American Cabinet.The following are the powers of the Executive: veto power over all bills; appointment of judges and other officials; makes treaties; ensures all laws are carried out; commander in chief of the military; pardon power.The checks can be found on the Checks and Balances Page.The lower house, the House of Commons, consists of MPs (Members of Parliament) elected from one of 646 electoral districts. The Speaker of the House of Commons, elected by the House, acts as the referee in debate between the majority and the minority.The MPs in the House of Commons sit for five years, or until the monarch (at the Prime Minister's behest) dissolves Parliament and calls for new elections. In Britain, the majority party in the House of Commons holds all of the power. The House of Lords holds little more than delaying powers.The following are the powers of the Legislature: Passes all federal laws; establishes all lower federal courts; can override a Presidential veto; can impeach the President.The following are the powers of the Judiciary: the power to try federal cases and interpret the laws of the nation in those cases; the power to declare any law or executive act unconstitutional.A popular proposal calls for 80% of the body to be elected and the name to change to the "Second Chamber." In 1999, the House of Lords had over 1300 members. The House of Lords serves a judicial function as a court of final appeal, but as a legislative body, is widely regarded as ineffectual. The Prime Minister, Britain's closest approximation of the American President, is an MP chosen by the majority. The head of state, analogous still with the American President, is the monarch (King or Queen).It can delay passage of bills issued by the lower house, though it cannot veto them. The monarch must approve of all bills, though the process today is little more than a rubber stamp.