53 votes
Accepted

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

Institutions and constitutional arrangements are important as they provide a buffer against temporary excesses, but the ultimate check is civil society, really. Otherwise look at Hungary, Turkey, etc. ...
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49 votes

Why is the President allowed to veto a cancellation of emergency powers?

It is a bug in the process, but it's one that has been present (and un-addressed) for more than a quarter century. When the National Emergencies Act was passed in 1976, it originally said that an ...
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41 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

Almost all governments, both autocratic and democratic, rely on the non-resistance of the vast majority of the population. Even in a democracy, you will find a significant number of people who are ...
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  • 78k
26 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

They can. However, historically, this pressure has almost never been significant enough to bring an immediate change of the government's course even in democracies. The Vietnam War committed 3,000,000 ...
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  • 3,208
23 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

Sometimes human losses put pressure on autocrats (see other answers), but sometimes not so much. As a school child I lived in USSR and can testify that George Orwell's 1984 is almost a documentary, as ...
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  • 1,705
17 votes

Has power been stripped away from the US Constitution, during the Obama Administration?

Barack Obama used executive discretion in ways that previous presidents had not. For example, he created a visa program that allowed undocumented immigrants to live and work in the United States. He ...
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16 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

Because of this, the party could make the supreme court judges "disappear" and appoint new ones. Despite suspicions, he/she couldn't be impeached This is the specific step in your chain where your ...
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16 votes

Why is the President allowed to veto a cancellation of emergency powers?

The President has that power because the authority to veto legislation is an enumerated power from the Constitution. The conflict exists now because the Congress has surrendered an excess amount of ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Does the United Kingdom, in practice, have other constitutional principles which limit the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty?

Parliament is supreme. Note, this question is seeking more theoretical answers to the question than "realistic". It is unwise to view the world through a theoretical lens, unless the intention is ...
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  • 266
14 votes

Can UK supreme court justices be evaluated ideologically?

This argument is the other way round. The UK courts pride themselves on being as apolitical as possible. Because the government has been frustrated in its illegal course of action, they are proposing ...
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13 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

Yes. Two examples that come to mind are the Falklands War, which was launched by Argentina's then military junta. They were gone soon after losing it. Another is the USSR's long quagmire in ...
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10 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

A couple things are worth considering in this scenario. First of all, this scenario assumes that some party can manage to convince an overwhelming majority of the populace, and the states, to vote for ...
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9 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

In addition to the good points raised by other answers, it's worth noting that political parties are not monolithic. When a party with a preponderance of power comes close to the line of abusing that ...
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9 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

Usually the only thing that puts pressure on autocrats is men with guns, not the general public. Taking Russia's own history since the early 20th century: The War of 1905 against Japan resulted in a ...
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8 votes
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Do any democratic countries have mechanisms to prevent one party from dominating for an extended period?

The closest example I can think of is Singapore's Non-Constituency MP and Nominated MP systems. Singapore is a single party democracy that uses a UK-style constituency system. In 2015 the ruling PAP ...
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  • 1,291
8 votes
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Does all military authority come from the President?

There's this thing called a Chain of Command. In a military context, the chain of command is the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed within a military unit and between ...
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7 votes

Why is the Supreme Court not balanced in terms of their political views?

How would you write a law which enforces political positions of judges to be representative? Political orientation isn't something you can objectively measure. Especially because there are much more ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Why is the Supreme Court not balanced in terms of their political views?

Why is the Supreme Court not balanced in terms of their political views? It is. The court is currently split with two reliable conservatives, two conservative-leaning swing votes, and four liberals. ...
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  • 87.9k
5 votes

Why is the President allowed to veto a cancellation of emergency powers?

The theory seems to be (IMHO) that if the President tried to do something too outrageous, he would not be able to get the support of even 1/3 of the Senate. The Legislative Branch doesn't want its ...
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  • 7,920
5 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

In a democratic system like the United States, control of the government ultimately belongs to one group of people: the voting citizenry. Eliminating checks and balances would at best give you ...
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  • 1,184
5 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

Is this possible, and if not, what stops it from happening? I want to say a few words about "what stops it from happening" and point out a short academic paper from January that has a little bit of ...
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  • 4,393
5 votes

Could a US political party gain complete control over the government by removing checks & balances?

Your "disappear" comment seems to miss a point. The size of the supreme court is a matter of statute. The size of each US state is a matter of statute. It is perfectly legal under the US ...
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  • 1,366
4 votes

Do any democratic countries have mechanisms to prevent one party from dominating for an extended period?

I think the answer is no. There are some Venice commission reports on term limits (one on presidential and one on other limits, including legislature), which don't mention anything like you ask about. ...
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4 votes

How could presidential power realistically be reigned in over time?

Per the Constitution, nearly all power resides in Congress. The reason the President has gained so much power is because Congress has given it to them. If Congress so choose, they could pass laws ...
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  • 25.7k
4 votes
Accepted

Are there checks and balances in the Philippine Congress on Rodrigo Duterte?

In theory (according to the Philippine constitution), the Legislative branch should provide a check on the President's spending and the Judicial provides a check on Presidential appointments (having ...
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  • 16.6k
4 votes

When can the US political system examine the president for mental health issues?

You can not force the President to get a mental health examination when they don't want to. But according to the 25th amendment of the constitution, the Vice President and at least half of the other ...
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  • 66.8k
4 votes

Do heavy human losses put pressure on an autocratic leader like Putin?

Of course human losses put a pressure on an autocratic regime. This is just an example. However in an autocratic regime since most of the information is strictly controlled , it is very difficult to ...
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  • 4,622
3 votes

How do democracies maintain the independence of judiciary?

Each country has its own mechanisms to enforce judicial independence but there are at least three common themes: You cannot remove judges from office on a whim, nor can you withhold a judge's salary ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Does Constitutional Court deciding upon a law related to its members break the "checks and balances" principle?

The first great decision of the United States Supreme Court was whether or not the Supreme Court could invalidate a federal law. Obviously such a decision affects the power of the court. In ...
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