PM and the President

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  • Created on: 31-03-19 21:46
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  • The Prime Minister and the President
    • The US President is head of state as well as the head of government. The key formal source of the powers of the president is the US Constitution. It places significant limits on presidential power.
      • Informal sources of presidential power (e.g. the use of executive orders and powers of persuasion) have developed over time.
      • The monarch is the head of state in the UK. The powers of the prime minister are set out in statute
    • The US President is directly elected and can claim a personal mandate. Fixed-term elections take place every 4 years.
      • The U.K. Prime MInister is not directly elected; he or she is leader of the largest party in the House of Commons. Fixed-term elections to the Commons takes places every 5 years.
    • In the USA, the separation of powers means that the executive does not dominate the legislature. The president cannot force Congress to accept his will: the President has powers to veto legislation but Congress can override this also.
      • The legislature can only dismiss the President through impeachment. Divided governments occur when one political party holds the Presdiency but its rival controls Comgress.
        • In the UK,  the executive exercises significant control over the legislature but the government must resign if it loses a vote of confidence in the Commons.
    • The US executive branch serves the President. The US cabinet is an advisory body subordinate to the President; it does not share executive power with them.
      • The Executive Office of the President provides strong institutional support. Presidents also appoint many of the officials working within their administration.
        • In the UK, the Prime Minister is the predominant figure in the executive but needs the support of senior cabinet colleagues. The civil service is impartial and not politically appointed.
    • The US President’s nominees for key posts, such as cabinet members and Supreme Court judges, are subject to approval by the legislature.
      • In the UK, some appointments are made by the Prime Minister (e.g. government ministers) does not require parliamentary approval.
    • The US President is head of their political party but parties are loose organisations whose members often act independently.
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