The formal constitutional powers listed in the previous answer 'The
powers of the Prime Minister' are subject to a number of restraints in
practice, which means that the British PM is not as powerful as often
assumed, or as commonly alleged by critics. The large number of main
constraints are as follows:
Constraints on the power of patronage
Ø If the party has been in opposition, then the first Cabinet
appointed after a general election victory is usually the shadow
Ø Some MPs will have such extensive experience or authority that they
can hardly be omitted
Ø Some MPs have sizeable backbench followings. Omitting them from the
cabinet might lead to dissatisfaction on the backbenches, possibly in
the form of 'cabals' or factions which might eventually lead to a
leadership challenge. At the very least, disgruntled MPs might
withhold their support in parliamentary votes ('divisions') on the
government policies and Bills.
Ø The cabinet needs to be reasonably 'balanced', meaning that it must
include ministers from the different ideological sections of the
Ø Some MPs are too young and inexperienced to include while others may
be approaching the end of their parliamentary careers or they might
indicate that they no longer wish to hold ministerial office.
Ø Frequent ministerial reshuffles are also likely to reflect poorly on
the Prime Minister, suggesting either a sense of panic or rising
doubts about their political judgement in appointing ministers who are
then rapidly (re)moved
Constraints on dealing with...
... middle of paper ...
...ave to be appointed to the Cabinet by virtue of their popularity and
stature in the wider party. Prescott is an example, again. So too is
Tony Benn who served in the cabinet in the late 1970s. Prime Ministers
Wilson and Callahan felt obliged to appoint him because of his
widespread popularity, even though they did not agree with his view.
Third, PMs sometimes decide that it is wise to offer a backbench rebel
a ministerial appointment in order to muzzle them. And fourth, on
occasion, an attempt to 'punish' an MP by refusing to allocate them a
ministerial post can ultimately prove counter-productive. Realising
this, a PM may be reluctant to take such a step.
So, however formidable the Prime Ministers formal constitutional
powers appear to be, they are, in practice, subject to a variety of
constraints and circumstances.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Since the 1950s there has been a rise in the power of the Prime Minister, specially Crossman in 1962 and Benn, who in 1979 referred to “a system of personal rule in the very heart of our Parliamentary democracy”. As Britain has remained the “world’s most successful representative democracy”. The role of the executive has significantly increased at a great deal since the end of World War 2, however, the outward dangers of a supplementary individual hegemony attached to the Prime Minister shouldn’t be overemphasized.... [tags: patronage, media, leadership]
1649 words (4.7 pages)
- Canada’s parliamentary system is designed to preclude the formation of absolute power. Critics and followers of Canadian politics argue that the Prime Minister of Canada stands alone from the rest of the government. The powers vested in the prime minister, along with the persistent media attention given to the position, reinforce the Prime Minister of Canada’s superior role both in the House of Commons and in the public. The result has led to concerns regarding the power of the prime minister. Hugh Mellon argues that the prime minister of Canada is indeed too powerful.... [tags: Canadian Government]
1053 words (3 pages)
- Power of the British Prime Minister The prime minister is that person who leads the majority party in the House of Commons, or who commands a majority of support in that house. PMs continue in office until they resign or concede a defeat after a general election. They also may reign after losing a motion of no confidence. In the 19th Century, Bagehot wrote (in the English constitution 1867), that parliamentary government had been superseded by Cabinet Government - that the theoretical sovereignty of parliament had been delegated to the executive for all practical purposes.... [tags: Papers]
652 words (1.9 pages)
- ... In addition, the initial reaction of Filipinos to change is resistance, and this is why the country does not necessarily progress, or at least, progress at a continuous rate. Then, countries like Spain and Portugal only rode the “economic tiger” after “they realized that the only way to survive was change” (3.Y). Plus, according to another critic, the Philippines already had the experience of being under the parliamentary system during the time of Marcos which only resulted in a People Power Revolution.... [tags: government, prime minister, democracy]
1759 words (5 pages)
- The Prime Minister in Canada is the head of government and is appointed by the Governor General. Canada is the northern neighbor to the United States, and the Queen of England is its head of state. These powerful countries being so closely tied to Canada makes it a major player on the world stage, and gives considerable power to its Prime Ministers.There have been twenty-two Prime Ministers, with John Diefenbaker being the thirteenth, serving from 1957-1963, and Pierre Trudeau the fifteenth, who served 1968-1979 and again 1980-1984.... [tags: Political Science]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- I wish to address Mohana Ansari 's and India 's criticism of the government of Nepal, the government 's response to such criticisms, the attitude of some international non-governmental organizations to these two events, and reaction of Nepali intellectual to them. Ms. Ansari, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, criticised the government of Nepal in the 31st session of the United Human Rights Council. Prime Minister K. P. Oli expressed his dissatisfaction with the Ms. Ansari and the NHRC about the statement.... [tags: Human rights, United Nations, Prime minister]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- Limits of Mediation: Sudan Peace Mediation Is the Sudan peace mediation by IGAD the answer to the questions of whether the mediators are guaranteed by the conditions and demands how about the parties to the conflict or can they strike out. With little contemplation as to the alternative or consequences the IGAD mediation team did chose to be in bound by the parties. Something exceptional was the Machakos Protocol which was short and the vision was very far limited, upon which was supposedly based on by the DoP.... [tags: darfur, internal conflict, peace agreements]
993 words (2.8 pages)
- The Presidental Limits The President of the United States is the most powerful wo/man in the world. There are few limits to what s/he can do. The Constitution created the institution of the presidency in 1789, power of the president has gradually grown from what was first envisioned. The presidential powers were set up to be limited by separation of powers into three branches of government, by the checks and balances scribed in the constitution, by federal systems, political parties and the media.... [tags: Papers]
1202 words (3.4 pages)
- Thesis Statement There are very minimal checks on the Prime Minister’s authority and power has therefore become progressively concentrated within his possession. This has been intensified with the minimization of the role of the crown in Canada, as the role of the Queen has become mostly symbolic. There are also many forces that strengthen the autonomy of the Prime Minister and he monopolizes power on fiscal matters. Finally, he uses party discipline to his advantage, making sure that each member adheres to his own agenda.... [tags: Prime minister, Westminster system]
861 words (2.5 pages)
- Nations identify their forms of government by how their legislative, executive, and judicial systems are structured. The most primary identifier of any nation is which democratic system it follows: presidential, or parliamentary. Both are built on a single democratic principle that all elections should be free and competitive in order to determine their leaders and how they are able to govern. (Charles Hauss 41) Organized government is essential to avoid chaos and anarchy. Without authority and rule, free will and malicious intent without known repercussions can often negatively influence decision making and actions taken by the people to gain power over land, people, money, and any other m... [tags: Prime minister, Presidential system]
1309 words (3.7 pages)