Do you think that this balance of power works as its creators intended? Has change accelerated in recent years?
This is an excellent question. Personally, I do think that the separation of powers set out in the United States Constitution does continue to work to this day as it was intended to. Our federal government is divided into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial. The structure is such that each branch may offer checks and balances to the other branches so that no one branch can obtain too much power without the ability of the others to interfere and prevent corruption.
Today, there are many criticisms of the way in which our government operates, particularly of the Bush administration (the executive branch). Many people feel as though the president has exceeded his authority at times, such as his exercise of the executive privilege to resist subpoenas in the investigation of firing of federal prosecutors in 2007.
But this privilege is akin to the attorney-client privilege, which often allows (in fact requires) an attorney to remain quiet on an issue even if he or she knows that to speak up could better serve justice by rendering the correct result. There are often two very defensible sides to an argument, and getting it right can be difficult if not impossible. This is why I think our government does work.
In the long run if the American people are not happy, the changes that the majority requires will come about. But it does take time for our system to work.