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This is a question to our members with a grounding in political science and history. I have no idea what the answer is, which is why I’m posting the question.
People in the United States, especially those of the centre-right persuasion, often cite the genius of the founders of their nation in creating a constitutional system in which the powers of government were separated into legislative, executive, and judicial branches, which were independent and, at some level, adversaries of one another. This was intended to prevent a concentration of power in one branch. The system of elections was “first past the post” which, while not intended at the time, ended up reinforcing a two party system in which the parties had an incentive to move toward the centre in order to assemble an electoral majority. A bill of rights was quickly added to the constitution to enumerate pre-existing rights which the government was prohibited from infringing.
All in all, it seems to have worked pretty well, at least until 1912 when the so-called “progressives” began to tear down the safeguards against tyranny and centralisation built into the original system.
So here’s the question: if this system has worked so well for the U.S., why is the U.S. so reluctant to implement it in countries it has conquered militarily and has the power to impose any system of government it wishes? It’s striking: after World War II, Germany, Italy, and Japan completely capitulated to the Allies and, realistically, the U.S. could have dictated their new constitutions, and yet each ended up with a parliamentary system with proportional representation, not anything like the U.S. system. The same thing happened in Iraq after the 2003 war.
If the U.S. system of government is so great, why not use it as the model for countries the U.S. conquers?