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To What Extent Does the Prime Minister Dominate the Uk's Political System?

Autor:   •  December 28, 2017  •  1,278 Words (6 Pages)  •  677 Views

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Moreover, it can be argued that the role of the Prime Minister is becoming more presidential as seen by the wider use of special advisors. The Prime Minister is relying increasingly on hand-picked advisors rather than on their cabinets, ministers and senior civil servants. They are mostly loyal to the Prime Minister rather than to the party or government, which is similar to the president in the USA. For example, Edward Llewellyn is Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and is described as “the most powerful unelected official in the country”. Furthermore, both Thatcher and Blair- who are seen as the most presidential Prime Ministers- had close relationships with Raegan and Bush or Clinton respectively, showing the relationship between the two heads of state and highlighting the presidential element to the Prime Minister as the Prime Ministers would surely be influenced by the way that their corresponding presidents ruled. However, on the other hand, the executive branch and the legislative branches of government in the UK are not separate, whereas a dominating feature of the president is that the two are very separate. In the UK, the government is drawn from Parliament and the Prime Minister is head of the government, and so there is a lot of overlap. Although the technical, legal and constitutional roles of the Prime Minister and the president are different, the overall role of the Prime Minister is becoming more presidential as Prime Ministers are governing more singularly and with more authority than they did initially. Therefore, it can be argued that the role of the Prime Minister is becoming more and more presidential as time goes on.

Finally, the strengthening of the cabinet office shows how the role of the Prime Minister is becoming more presidential. The size and administrative resources available to the Cabinet Office (the body that serves the cabinet system through the cabinet secretariat, and is responsible for the co-ordinating of policy across Whitehall) have grown, perhaps turning it into a small-scale Prime Minister’s department responsible for coordinating the rest of Whitehall. For example, there has been a decrease in cabinet meetings and more bilateral meetings, showing how the cabinet strength has decreased but the cabinet office is becoming stronger. This is more similar to how the president rules, rather than how the Prime Minister’s role was traditionally intended.

To conclude, the argument is maintained that the role of the Prime Minister in the UK is becoming more presidential, especially as the UK and the USA are increasing their diplomatic relations. The role of the head of the state in the UK, the growth of spatial leadership, personalised mandates, the widened use of special advisors and the strengthened cabinet office all show how the Prime Minister is becoming more presidential, as overall they are becoming more authoritarian and individual leaders. The theory of power of presidentilisation has altered the role and influence of the Prime Minister in the UK, which could have negative implications for the system of parliamentary government.


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