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Checks and balances tossed aside
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We're taught it from our early school days, and it's repeated by politicians, journalists and citizens of all stripes - the American system of representative government is based on a system of checks and balances. Each of the executive, legislative and judicial co-equal branches of government is designed to act as a check on the others. As government posts are occupied by people with human foibles, including the quest for power, no system can operate with absolute perfection.

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