美國政府

美國政府

「民有、民治、民享」,這是亞伯拉罕·林肯在蓋茨堡演說時,描繪的美國政府。這簡短的幾個字道出了美國民主的真諦。美國政府不是統治人民而是受人民所統治。民選的官員被認為是人民的公僕,他們代表的是他們的選民。美國政府的所有權來源于每一個美國國民,政府是國民的保姆,美國人可經由投票,向他們的代表陳情、甚至于組織和平的示威活動,來發表心聲,參與政事。每一個美國公民都有一份保護自身利益的權利與義務,來決定他們的政府該如何執政,前總統泰迪.羅斯福深刻地表達了美國人對政府的看法:「政府就是我們。」

  • 中文名稱
    美國政府
  • 所屬洲
    北美洲
  • 政治體製
    民主共和製
  • 國家領袖
    歐巴馬
  • 建國理念
    「民有、民治、民享」
  • 行政類別
    立法部門、行政部門及法務部門

美國政府

"Of the people, by the people, and for the people." That's how Abraham Lincoln described the American government in his Gettysburg Address. These simple phrases capture the essence of American democracy. Instead of ruling over U.S. citizens, the government is ruled by them. Elected officials are known as public servants who represent their constituents. Americans can get involved in government by voting, by writing letters to their representatives and even by organizing peaceful demonstrations to make their voices heard. Each American citizen has a vested interest in how he or she is governed. Former President Theodore Roosevelt expressed the American view of government well: "The government is us."

「民有、民治、民享」,這是亞伯拉罕.林肯在蓋茨堡演說時,描繪的美國政府。這簡短的幾個字道出了美國民主的真諦。美國政府不是統治人民而是受人民所統治。民選的官員被認為是人民的公僕,他們代表的是他們的選民。美國人可經由投票,向他們的代表陳情、甚至于組織和平的示威活動,來發表心聲,參與政事。每一個美國公民都有一份保護自身利益的權利與義務,來決定他們的政府該如何執政,前總統泰迪.羅斯福深刻地表達了美國人對政府的看法:「政府就是我們。」

At first glance, it might seem that the U.S. president, as "leader of the free world," is the "ruler" of America. On Inauguration Day, the swearing in of President Bill Clinton for his second term will reflect the pomp and circumstance of a coronation ceremony, with dignitaries from around the world in attendance. Even as far back as George Washington, who once rejected a suggestion to become "King of America," people have sought to ascribe far-reaching powers to the president. But the Constitution ensures that the president will not become an all-powerful ruler.

乍看之下,身為「自由世界領袖」的美國總統似乎是美國的「統治者」。在就職日,來自世界各地達官顯要的出席,使柯林頓總統的第二任就職宣誓儀式,如同國王加冕典禮一般的華麗與隆重。即使遠朔自華盛頓總統,他曾經拒絕了成為「美國國王」的建議,人們還是想要把無比的權力賦予總統。但是美國憲法確保了總統不會成為一個集權的統治者。

The U.S. government, as outlined by the Constitution, is divided into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative branch passes the laws, the executive enforces the laws and the judicial interprets the laws. The legislative branch is comprised of the two houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thanks to CNN, C/SPAN and the nightly news, many lawmakers have almost become celebrities in their own right. The executive branch is represented by the president, who is called the chief executive or chief of state. Besides that, as commander in chief of the armed forces, the president carries more than a little clout in world affairs. The judicial branch is made up of the Supreme Court and about 100 other federal courts. The nine Supreme Court justices hold office for life.

美國憲法概略的將政府分為三部份:立法部門、行政部門及法務部門。立法部門通過法律:行政部門執行法律而法務部門詮釋法律。立法部門由國會的參議院及眾議院所組成。承蒙CNN及C/SPAN和夜間新聞之抬愛,這些議員們都因個人的論調、舉止成了名人。行政部門由總統代表,他被稱為最高行政長官、或是國家元首。除此之外,身為三軍司令,美國總統在世界局勢所有的影響力也是不小的。法務部門是由最高法院及大約100個其它的聯邦法院所組成。九位最高法院的法官是終身職。

In order to prevent any one branch of government from becoming more powerful than the other two, the Constitution has established a system of "checks and balances." For instance, when Congress passes a bill, it must have the signature of the president in order to become law. But even if the president rejects the bill, Congress can override his veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate. The Supreme Court, as final arbiter of the Constitution, can overturn legislative acts or executive orders if it finds them to be unconstitutional. In this way, the powers of government are balanced, or held in check.

為避免任何一個部門的權力大過其它兩個部門,憲法設立了一套「製衡」製度。例如,當國會通過一個法案,它必須由總統簽署後才能成為法律。但即使總統否決了這個法案,國會可以透過參、眾兩院三分之二的票數同意而不顧他的否決。身為憲法最後仲裁者的最高法院,如果發現法令或是行政命令違憲,可以將其推翻。如此,政府的權力就可以被製衡了。

In many countries, power rests with a strong centralized government. In contrast, under the American federal system, the national government shares its power with the state governments. The federal government possesses only those powers clearly delineated in the Constitution; all remaining powers are reserved for the states.

在許多國家,權力集中于中央政府。相對之下,在美國聯邦製度下,國家政府與州政府分攤權力。聯邦政府隻擁有憲法中明確陳述的權力,其它所有的權力都保留在州政府。

The English political theorist Thomas Paine wrote in 1776, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." The American government, like every government, has its share of thorny problems. An increasing number of governmental agencies and government workers has created the problem of bureaucracy, where a mountain of paperwork stifles efficiency. Lobbyists make appeals to Congress on behalf of special interest groups. As a result, those with the biggest lobby--and the most money--tend to have the loudest voice in Washington.

英國政治理論家湯瑪士.潘尼在一七七六年寫道:「政府,即使在在其最好的狀態,也不過是一個無可避免的惡魔;在它最壞的狀態,就是一個無法忍受的惡魔。」美國政府就像每一個政府一樣,也有棘手的問題。不斷增加的政府機構及公務員造成了官僚政治的問題,使堆積如山的紙上作業扼殺了效率。遊說者為特定利益團體向國會抗訴請願。結果,說官人數最多,即錢最多的團體,在華盛頓就有最大的聲音。

Americans harbor mixed feelings about their own government. They recognize the need for it, but they remain suspicious of it. To some Americans, the government is Big Brother, an oppressive organization which delights in taxing its people and meddling in their affairs. To others, the government is a rich Uncle Sam who provides for the poor and protects his people from bullies at home and abroad. But no matter how they view their government, Americans wouldn't trade it for any other on the face of the earth.

美國人對他們自己的政府懷有復雜的情感。他們知道它存在必要性,但還是對它存疑。對某些美國人來說,政府是一個壓抑人民的組織,以向人民征稅為樂,並幹預人民隱私的「老大哥」。對其他人來說,政府是一個富有的山姆叔叔,它供養窮人並保護它的人民在國內外免受欺凌。不管他們怎樣看待他們的政府,美國人都不會將它與地球上任何一個政府交換的。

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