10 October 2013

Kenya: Checks and Balances Not Working in U.S.


IN theory, checks and balances in government are a good thing. The legislature, executive, and judiciary all prevent each other from exercising excessive authority.

Cabinet secretaries cannot be members of the National Assembly or Senate under the new constitution. This ended the 'imperial presidency' which badly damaged Kenya. But how good will the new American-style system be? The United States is presently in crisis. Congress is refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama scraps his medical insurance scheme introduced two years ago.

Obamacare has already been passed by both Congress and the Senate, and ratified by the Supreme Court. It is law, and is already funded. But the Republican party, driven by its extremist fringe, still wants to block it. And to get its way, it is threatening to force the US to default on its debt.

Politics is not supposed to work this way. If President Obama gives in, Congress will dominate and control the executive for evermore. Checks and balances will have vanished.

So who will blink and back down? Let us hope it is the Republicans because otherwise there will be another global economic shock and interest rates will shoot up, even in Kenya.

Quote of the day: "You may have the universe if I may have Italy." - Opera composer Guiseppe Verdi was born on October 10, 1813

Copyright © 2013 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.