Separation of Powers

Separation of powers is where a government is divided up into three different categories or branches, each branch has its own responsibilities and powers, no one branch is more powerful than the other, and these branches are the Legislature, Executive and the judiciary. Separation of powers is not when one, has all these branches merged or overlapping each other. An example of a country with separation of powers would be, the USA whereas, an example of a country without separation of powers would be, of the UK.

Within the UK political system the Legislature would be Parliament, the Executive would be those in the cabinet and the Judiciary being the Judges and Courts. In separation of powers each branch has responsibility to keep the other branches in check and if this is not the case or it is not being practiced then according to Montesquieu, it would bring tyranny. The extract argues that the UK needs separation of powers as it would determine the elimination of one or more bodies from becoming too powerful.

This would thus help to prevent or even hinder executive dominance in government matters. By having Separation of powers the UK would less like to have an elective dictatorship. It would prevent people like Margret Thatcher and Tony Blair from becoming too powerful. For example under Blair’s regime the legislature only blocked one legislation in an incredible 10 years; this shows that without the separation powers the UK political system can easily have an executive dominated government.

This becomes a possibility for a political party when it has a majority in the House of Commons an example of such a situation would of the Thatcher’s government where the Conservatives had a majority in Parliament. According to the extract separation of powers would enable to UK government to define and check the powers of the government. By having the separation of powers it would indeed make it much easier to understand the powers of government, also it would make it much easier to understand which bodies have which powers and how they can use these powers.

This in effect would lead to an increase in public knowledge, in how the UK political system works. This would result in the electorate becoming reinvigorated to take part in the general election thus increasing turn out in political participation. Another example why the UK is in need of separation of powers would be because in 2011 we saw the coalition pass legislation which would allow university to charge 9000 pounds a year in tuition fees. Despite the on-going protests by students; the government was able to pass this legislation with no problems.

This is because the coalition has to this day a majority in the House of Commons thus allowing them to choose what should be discussed and when. They are also able to get legislation passed easily due to their majority in the House of Commons. However if the separation of powers was to be implemented in the uk, we would see that the executive would have a much harder time getting legislation passed; for example in the USA Obama can only pass legislation that has been passed from the House of Representatives which at the moment has a majority of opposition party.

Thus Obama cannot dictate, resulting in no executive dominance. Thus the UK should have separation of powers. In conclusion, the UK should have separation of powers as it would enable it to hinder any sort of executive dominance from taking place or any sort of elective dictatorship from taking place. It would also make the UK political system much more transparent, which would result in more of the electorate becoming educated and interested in the political system leading to more of the electorate taking part in the political process thus resulting in to higher turnouts.