do you think that laws influence the government ? i believe that the laws do influence the government ... but just in how many ways ?  

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Laws are the vestiges of the former government. I other words, they are what is left over when power transfers. They are the structure that hangs on and perpetuates the government. Laws are difficult to overturn sometimes, but sometimes it's not that hard. Still the status quo wins out normally.
kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Interesting concept. It is more often said that government influences laws! Influence can be variously defined (as per American Heritage Dictionary) as a power to affect a person or course of events; to sway opinion and action based upon power, wealth, prestige; to create an effect through imperceptible means; to modify and affect the development or condition of someone or something.

With this understanding, I'd be more apt to say laws constrain and/or direct government rather than influence government. But an instance of law influencing government might be when Federal Environmental law influenced then Governor Schwarzenegger to independently partner with Florida and the UK to institute more stringent environmental policy in California than exists at the Federal level.

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I agree that the law influences the government. In countries like the US, the government is bound by laws in the same way citizens are bound by laws. The government may try to change the laws, but it is a long process. Any changes they create still influence the direction that government takes. A democratic government cannot exist outside the law. The laws give the government their power so, of course, they are bound by and influenced by those laws.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In democratic countries, the laws really do influence the government.  The government very rarely acts in ways that are clearly against the law.  They may try to get around laws they don't like, but they cannot be seen to flagrantly break any laws.  I think that in countries like the US, there is enough respect for the laws that government officials will generally not try to break the law (I'm talking here about in their official actions, not in personal actions).

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