POL326Y Lecture May 15.docx

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14 Apr 2014
May 15/2013
US Constitution and Implications on US Foreign Policy
US constitution is very much a political document
oDifferent groups with different interests
oThis struggle between various interests resulted in compromises that are evident
throughout the constitution
This allows for the majority to accept the constitution
oThere is ambiguity within the document
The ambiguity is deliberate to allow for different groups to read their own
interpretation of the document
This leads to an alienation of as few people as possible
This ambiguity has contributed to a considerable extent to the ability of
subsequent generations to redefine/reinterpret the constitution
oSeparation of powers
oSystem of checks and balances
oThe US needs to be governed by the rule of law
Rule of law should applied both to the citizens and to the government as well
No one is above the law
Must be maintained by a diffusion of power
Various branches of government keep each other in check
oAmbition countering ambition
oGreed needs to be constrained by everyone else’s greed
oChecks and balances ensures that the fundamental rights of the citizens will not be
oMany of the founders believed that the bill of rights was unnecessary
Constitution in terms of foreign policy
oExecutive, legislative, judicial
oSeparation of powers allows power of government to be limited
Intended to impose limits on the government, therefore also effects the foreign
policy of the country
For the government to achieve anything there needs to be some type of
cooperation between the powers
President is the commander in chief of the armed forces
President is to see that the laws passed by congress are ?
Sends ambassadors to foreign territory with the advise of the senate
Negotiates treaties with the advise and consent of the senate
Needs 2/3rds vote within the senate
Chief judicial officer
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