THE DANGER OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
The US leadership needs to go back to the drawing board to discuss the essence of the separation of powers in managing the affairs of a democratic state. The multi- party system would fail to deliver if there is no harmony in the performance of state duties by operatives from diverse political parties.
In short, it is the duty of the executive to propose budgets and the prerogative and power of the legislature to approve and appropriate public funds to run the institutions and various services of a state. In a multi-party system, the executive branch of the Government may be occupied by a President elected as a candidate of a party which does not have majority in a legislature, Parliament, National Assembly or House of Representative. Unless those who control the executive and the legislature are bound by the principle of harmony in diversity, the executive and the legislature may enter into a state of disagreement and thus push a nation to a standstill. In that case, the multi-party system becomes dysfunctional and would bring about the chaos, misrepresentation and disorder that a democratic system seeks to address. Separation of powers is meant to create mere division of labour in state administration aimed at delineating responsibilities so that the institutions could work harmoniously to promote general welfare.
This underlying principle appears to be lost to the majority in the US House of Representatives who had stalled the approval of a Federal budget at the risk of shutting down the institutions of the state. On Saturday, 30th September 2023 they had to quickly consider and approve a 45 day funding Bill to keep the federal service providers functioning as they further debate on budget cuts and priorities in the appropriation of funds for the next financial year.
The problem is attributed to decision-making based on partisan consideration. A democracy becomes fit for purpose only when the representatives put national interest and conscience at the forefront in making any decision for all the citizens.