Originally Posted by silentstriker
An important difference is that the US constitution (the bill of rights specifically) places certain fundamental limits on the power of the government, not the citizenry (e.g 'Congress shall make no law' instead of 'All citizens are allowed...'). Meaning it is implicit that the citizens have many more rights than are explicitly spelled out in the constitution - but these are the limits that are placed on the institution of government to stop it from tyranny. I think those limits are very fundamentally needed, otherwise there is nothing to stop a government, in times of public hysteria or crisis, to do whatever it wants.
True and with the US's system of giving the power of the executive to the president, it's certainly necessary, far moreso than in a westminster style system where the executive is tied so closely with the legislative and there are no term limits.