Role of Prime Minister and the Cabinet

  • Created by: tgrev
  • Created on: 21-04-17 21:21
3 Characteristics of the Cabinet
1. 20-25 senior govt politicians 2. Members must be MP or Peer 3. Normally meets once a week
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3 Functions of Cabinet
1. Formalise and legitimise govt policy 2. Deals with inter department disputes 3. Determine presentation of policy
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3 Functions of Ministers
1. Most have to manage govt departments 2. Ministers preside over drafting legislation 3. Work with collective responsibility
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3 Characteristics of the PM
1. Most senior minister 2. Use of royal prerogative 3. Automatically appointed by monarch
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What is collective responsibility?
All cabinet ministers defending government policy publicly
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Why is collective responsibility important?
1. Maintains govt unity 2. Helps PM maintain loyalty 3. Prevents oppositions from dividing the government
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3 examples of cabinet resignations
1. Robin Cook 2003 Iraq War 2. Clare Short 2003 post Iraq War policies 3. James Punnel 2009
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What is individual ministerial responsibility?
A minster is responsible for all decisions made by their department whether involved or not. If they commit a serious error they may be expected to resign
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3 Impacts of a the coalition government
1. PM dividing Cabinet seats 2. Collective responsibility comes under stress 3. Some policy disagreement
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3 Sources of PM power
1. Royal prerogative 2. Head of governing party 3. Power derived form head of cabinet
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3 Formal PM powers
1. To negotiate foreign policy 2. Command armed forces 3. Appoint or dismiss ministers
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3 Informal PM Powers
1. Chief Policy maker for govt 2. Foreign representative 3. Controls cabinet policy
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3 Limits on PM power
1. Must maintain party support 2. Size of parliamentary majority 3. Support of the media
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3 examples of limits on PM power
1. John Major losing parliamentary majority after 1992 election 2. Tony Blair losing media support after the Iraq War 3. Thatcher losing support of the conservatives 1989
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3 ways the PM controls cabinet
1. Patronage 2. Manipulating policies discussed 3. Manipulating membership of cabinet committees to influence policy info
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3 qualities of a cabinet member
1. Close ally of the PM 2. Represent different section of the party 3. Potential rebel to silence them
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3 team considerations for cabinet
1. Political balance 2. Balance when in coalition 3. Social balance
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3 signs of increasing prime ministerial dominance
1. Media treating PM as a spokesperson 2. Gradually exerting more control on cabinet 3. Increased advice available to PM
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3 arguments for prime minister = president
1. Prerogative gives unmatched power 2. Spatial leadership - PM is separate from government 3. Media treatment as if President
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3 arguments against PM = [president
1. Not head of state 2. Important limitations of PM power 3. Some PM's dont have presidential style
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Thatcher 2 Pros one Con
Pro - Dominated political system Pro - developed dominant ideological position Con - Removed by her colleagues
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Major 1 pro one con
Pro - Led foreign policy in relation to Iraq Con - No strong ideological position
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Blair 2 pros one con
Pro - Led new political movement Pro - Became well respected Con - Lost authority after Iraq
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Card 2

Front

3 Functions of Cabinet

Back

1. Formalise and legitimise govt policy 2. Deals with inter department disputes 3. Determine presentation of policy

Card 3

Front

3 Functions of Ministers

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

3 Characteristics of the PM

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is collective responsibility?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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