Prime minister and cabinet

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Who is in the executive?
The front bencher's (government ministers, the prime minister, top civil servants, cabinet, cabinet members and committees)
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What is the prime minister known and referred to as?
The first among equals
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Who was the quad?
David Cameron, George Osbourne, Dani Alexander and Nick Clegg
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What were the quad doing?
Making decisions without consulting the rest of cabinet
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What is the quad an example of?
Lack of representation and elitism
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What are the roles of the prime minister?
To form a government, to direct government policy, to manage cabinet, organise government, control parliament and provide leadership of the country
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What is directing government policy?
Deciding what direction to focus legislation and dictating how much time is spent on various pieces of legislation
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What did Blair do with the time spent with cabinet?
Reduced it
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What did the coalition do for the cabinet and prime minister?
The prime minister had to spend more time with cabinet and be seen to be representing and listening to both sides of the coalition
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How often did Tony Blair visit parliament?
Once a week for only half an hour
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What are the sources of PM power?
The ruling party, the royal prerogative, the popular mandate and parliament
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What is the ruling party?
The party with the majority of seats in the HoC
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What is the royal perogative?
Powers previously held by the monarch that were passed to the prime minister
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What is the popular mandate?
The legitimacy gained from winning the majority of seats in an election
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What are the three theories of leadership?
Core executive, cabinet government and presidential
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What is a theory of leadership?
A way in which a prime minister can choose to carry out their role
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What model of leadership did Blair follow?
A presidential model
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Which is the most democratic theory of leadership?
The cabinet government model
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What is the prime minister viewed as in the cabinet government model?
As the first among equals
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What are the three features of a cabinet government model?
The cabinet fuses together the executive and legislature as executive were appointed but still elected by public, cabinet makes all major policy decisions and is head and within cabinet everyone is equal and has a say.
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Is it good to act presidentially?
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What does the presidential theory of leadership mean?
That the prime minister is resembling a president with his use of powers and time
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What are the features of the presidential theory of leadership?
The prime minister distances themselves, acts as an outsider, tends to reach out directly to the public, personalised election campaigns (not party), wider use of special and personal advisers and a strengthened cabinet office
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What did Blair do to the number of special advisers in number 10?
Doubled the amount
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What is "spatial leadership"?
A prime minister working through outside forces and not directly through their cabinet such as using special advisers
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Who used spatial leadership?
Tony Blair
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What does the presidential model of leadership show us about executive power?
It stresses the growth of personalised leadership and highlights the role of mass media on power balances and personality politics
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Give an example of a core executive?
The quad
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What is a core executive?
Where there is a number of select individuals (an inner circle within the executive) that run the country
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What is the benefit of a core executive?
It is quick and easy to make policy
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What were the circumstances for Margaret Thatchers rise to power and being a prime minister?
Strong parliamentary majorities, a weak opposition, ideological commitment, favourable economic conditions, strong foreign policy and personally popular
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What did Thatcher's large majority mean?
That she could push through any policy that she wanted without opposition
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Who did Thatcher have a strong relationship with that showed her strong foreign policy?
Ronald Reagan
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What type of government did John Major have?
A very collegiate one (cabinet government model)
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Who did John Major follow?
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What were the issues faced by John Major?
Lack of a decisive majority, a strong and determined opposition, unfavourable economic circumstances, a divided party and leadership and a very decadent party
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What party did John Major belong to?
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Was John Major's failure his fault?
No, it was due to unfavourable circumstances
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Give an example of John Major having a decadent party
David Meller's mistress selling her story and Neil Hamilton being paid to ask questions from Mohammed Al Fied (harrods owner)
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What were the favourable circumstances for Tony Blair?
Large parliamentary majority, weak opposition, ideological unity among the cabinet and party, favourable economic conditions, personal popularity and a tight control over the machinery of government
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What did Tony Blair inherit that gave him favourable conditions?
A country that was sick of and hated the Labour Party
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What was a downfall of having ideological unity in Blair's government?
It created factions within the party
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Give an example of a faction under Tony Blair
The Brownites
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What does primus inter pares mean?
First among equals
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Why are prime ministers equal to their ministers?
Because they were not elected by the public as in the USA and so do not have the legitimacy to be above others
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What is the elastic theory?
The theory that if a prime minister does begin to act using spatial leadership, he will be reined back in by his peers and party constraints
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What is one argument for prime ministers changing in roles?
That it is them choosing to do so themselves
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What is the other side of the argument for prime ministers changing in roles?
That it is actually their office that has changed fundamentally
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What has changed about the office of a prime minister?
More patronages due to an influx of jobs, marginalisation of cabinet is due to too many ministers (hard to listen to everyone), more committees as government has become more complex, advisers are used as PMs= more accountable and need advice
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What is a bilateral method of creating policy?
Just two people collaborating to create policy
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Give an example of a bilateral system
Tony Blair working closely with Patrisha Hewitt
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What is an explanation of why there is more foreign policy in recent prime minister?
It is not their choice but they are the best person for the job- they are responding to a new job description
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Why does the prime minister need special advisers?
To prevent media scandals
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What was Tony Blair's most famous spin doctor?
Alistair Campbell
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What did Blair do with the cabinet agendas?
Control them and scrap them last minute so people were not prepared and could not join in the debates
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is the prime minister known and referred to as?


The first among equals

Card 3


Who was the quad?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What were the quad doing?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is the quad an example of?


Preview of the front of card 5
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