Premium Essay

Are British Prime Ministers as Powerful as Is Sometimes Claimed, [40]

In: Other Topics

Submitted By amosedwards45
Words 1212
Pages 5
Are British Prime ministers as powerful as is sometimes claimed?
[40]

It is often argued that in this day and age, Prime ministers are almost untouchable within the British political system, due to the shear number of powers that the Prime minister holds, and the prerogatives that he utilises. However, due to a handful of checks and balances on the government, and the Prime minister not being separated from the political system, which means he or she is liable to these checks and limitations, the Prime minister may therefore not be perceived as all that powerful.

As previously mentioned, the Prime minister enjoys a collection of powers within the UK political system. Firstly, the prime minister has this huge amount of power due to the fact that they are both part of the executive branch of government and the legislature, due to the fusion of powers within the British political system. This means that they are able to create law and then use their representation in the legislature to force through this law.

For example, when Tony Blair won a landslide victory in 1997, winning 179 seats. As a result of this, he was not beaten in the commons until 2005, when they rejected his proposition on terror laws. Tony Blair can also be used as another example of how Prime ministers are as powerful as is sometimes claimed. Prime ministers have many prerogative powers that are granted to them by the Queen as head of state. For example, in 2003, when Tony Blair utilised these prerogatives to declare war on Afghanistan.

On the other hand, prime minister's power is extremely dependable, and in a handful of cases, a prime minister has lost significant amounts of power due to an insufficient majority, if no majority at all. For example, in 1974 when Harold wilson won a very small majority in parliament, and as a result of this, they did not achieve anything in seven…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Has the Power of the Uk Prime Minister Increased?

...Has the power of the UK Prime Minister increased? It can be argued that the power of the British Prime Minister has increased power due to his multiple sources of authority and his dominance over the cabinet government. However due to the coalition formed in the 2010 general election the argument that the Prime Ministers power has not increased takes precedent because power has to be shared and they can still be removed from office by their party or parliament. The UK government is becoming more closely comparable to the American presidential system, as the Prime Minister holds more power, mainly due to his dominance over the cabinet. The party leader has the ability to choose who is appointed what position within the cabinet; David Cameron announced he would ‘re-shuffle’ the make-up of the cabinet after being elected in 2010. Thus allowing him to choose individuals to undertake certain roles which he can manipulate to his advantage. The Prime Minister can also dominate the decisions which should be made by the cabinet. For example Margaret Thatcher’s decision to ban trade unions at GCHQ in Cheltenham in 1984, was the result of a meeting between a small group which defied the convention of Cabinet collective decision making. Demonstrating how the power of the Prime Minister has increased as the cabinet government has adopted a more passive role. Similarly to their dominance of the cabinet, another valid reason in favour of the Prime Minister having increased powers is......

Words: 391 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

India's Prime Ministers

...1889 – 27 May 1964) was the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics for much of the 20th century. He emerged as the paramount leader of the Indian Independence Movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and ruled India from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in office in 1964.[5] Nehru is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state; a sovereign, socialist, secular, anddemocratic republic.[6] He was the father of Indira Gandhi and the maternal grandfather ofRajiv Gandhi, who were to later serve as the third and sixth Prime Ministers of India, respectively. | 1 | 15 August 1947 | 27 May 1964 [†] | 16 years,286 days | – | Lord Mountbatten | Indian National Congress | | [32] | | | | 2 | | | | 1952 (1st) | Rajendra Prasad | | | | | | | 3 | | | | 1957 (2nd) | | | | | | | | 4 | | | | 1962 (3rd) | | | | | – | | Gulzarilal Nanda[j] (1898–1998) MP for SabarkanthaGulzarilal Nanda (4 July 1898 – 15 January 1998) was an Indian politician and an economist with specialisation in labour problems. He was the interimPrime Minister of India twice for thirteen days each: the first time after the death of Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru in 1964, and the second time after the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. (Both his terms ended after the ruling Indian National Congress party procedurally elected a new prime minister.) The Government of India honoured...

Words: 1534 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Was R.B.Bennett a Good Prime Minister

...on the question “Was R.B. Bennett a good choice for the 11th Prime Minister of Canada?” To access the extent on how effective R.B. Bennett was on Canada between 1930 to 1935, this essay will help identify whether or not Bennett help shape Canada for good or for bad. After Bennett was inaugurated after former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, he had a rough road ahead of him being elected at the start of The Great Depression. Only having done little to nothing after his first year in office and the public making jokes, Bennett had no choice but to revise President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to help bring Canada out of the Depression. When the 1930’s election came rolling around, there were many assumptions that prime minster Mackenzie King would not be re-elected back into office. On the Conservative Party, the candidate that was running up against King was R.B. Bennett. When King made his speech in the House of Commons about how he would not give a “five-cent piece to any [Conservative] government,” R.B. Bennett was seen to be the next prime minster. When the Conservatives won 134 seats and the Liberals only won 90, the people of Canada saw a bright future for the country. Bennett’s first year in office was probably the height of his career. When he entered his office he had action on his mind and that’s exactly what Canada got. One of the very first things that R.B. Bennett did as prime minister was creating the Unemployment Relief Act. This Act provided......

Words: 896 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Prime Minister of Thailand

...Prime Minister of Thailand: Yingluck Shinawatra Yingluck Shinawatra is the first female prime minister in Thailand and came from the Pheu Thai party, which was formed after the dissolution of the People’s Power Party in 2008. She is the youngest sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister and now living in exile in Dubai as a fugitive from Thai justice. Pheu Thai party won the election by a landslide since they have a strong support from the north and northeastern parts of the country. As said in The Economist’s article entitled Thailand’s election: A surprising new face (2011), the party is the creature of Mr. Thaksin, and as his allies point out, this election was the fourth official victory at the polls for Mr. Thaksin’s political parties since 2001. The election results show that the country is divided between a red Pheu Thai north and a blue Democrat South. Yingluck Shinawatra scooped up over half the popular vote and occupied 265 out of the 500-seat Parliament. In contrast, the Democrat party did very poorly since they only won 159 seats, less than their hope for 200. Bhumjaithai on the other hand won only 34. However, her greatest challenge may be to close the violent divisions that have opened up in Thai society since the 2006 coup. Based on the U.S. Department of State (2012), “From 1992 and until the 2006 coup, the country was considered a functioning democracy with constitutional changes of government.” The election held in 2007 has restored......

Words: 350 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prime Minister

...THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF MANMOHAN SINGH SANJAYA BARU VIKING Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110 017, India Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Group (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, Block D, Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England First published in Viking by Penguin Books India 2014 Copyright © Sanjaya Baru 2014 All rights reserved 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The views and opinions expressed in this book are the author’s own and the facts are as reported by him which have been verified to the extent possible, and the publishers are not in any way liable for the same. ISBN 9780670086740 Typeset in Bembo by R. Ajith Kumar, New Delhi Printed at Thomson Press......

Words: 114823 - Pages: 460

Free Essay

British Prime Ministers 1860-1930

...British Prime Ministers 1860-1930 British Prime Ministers 1860-1930 Edward Smith-Stanley 28 June 1866 – 27 February 1868 Conservatives Edward Smith-Stanley 28 June 1866 – 27 February 1868 Conservatives Ramsey MacDonald 22 January 1924 – 4 November 1924 5 June 1929-7 June 1935 Labour Ramsey MacDonald 22 January 1924 – 4 November 1924 5 June 1929-7 June 1935 Labour Stanley Baldwin 23 may 1923 – 16 January 1924 4 November 1924 – 5 June 1929 7 June 1935 – 28 may 1937 Conservatives Stanley Baldwin 23 may 1923 – 16 January 1924 4 November 1924 – 5 June 1929 7 June 1935 – 28 may 1937 Conservatives David Lloyd George 7 December 1916 – 22 October 1922 Liberals David Lloyd George 7 December 1916 – 22 October 1922 Liberals Robert gasocoyne-cecil 23 June 1885 – 28 January 1886 25 July 1886 – 11 august 1892 25 June 1895 – 11 July 1902 Conservatives Robert gasocoyne-cecil 23 June 1885 – 28 January 1886 25 July 1886 – 11 august 1892 25 June 1895 – 11 July 1902 Conservatives William Gladstone 3 December 1868 – 17 February 1874 23 April 1880 – 9 June 1885 1 February – 20 July 1886 1 February – 20 July 1886 15 august 1892 – 2 march 1894 Conservatives, peelites, liberals William Gladstone 3 December 1868 – 17 February 1874 23 April 1880 – 9 June 1885 1 February – 20 July 1886 1 February – 20 July 1886 15 august 1892 – 2 march 1894 Conservatives, peelites, liberals Viscount Palmerstone 12 June 1859 – 18......

Words: 404 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Prime Minister

...TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah is Malaysia first Prime Minister after its Independence in 1957. He is well-known as Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) or Bapa Malaysia (Father of Malaysia). Tunku who is the seventh prince and twentieth child of Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah was born in Istana Pelamin , Alor Setar in Kedah on February 8, 1903. His mother was Che Manjalara who is the fourth wife of Sultan Abdul Hamid. In 1909, Abdul Rahman was sent to a Malay Primary School Jalan Baharu and was later transferred to study at the Government English School in Alor Star, which currently known as the Sultan Abdul Hamid College. Abdul Rahman was then sent to Debsirin School in Bangkok in 1911. Then, he returned to Malaya in 1915 and continued his studies at Penang Free School. He graduated from St. Catharine’s College in Cambridge University with a bachelor degree of Arts in law and history in 1925. In 1951 Abdul Rahman became the president of UMNO and in 1955,he became the first Chief Minister of Malaya. As UMNO President, he has successfully solved many political issues in the Federation of Malaya, with various races cooperation. As a result, he succeeded in forming an alliance between the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) and this was known as the Alliance, Party. Under Tunku Abdul Rahman, the country......

Words: 1518 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Is the Uk Prime Minister Now Effectively a President?

...Is the UK Prime Minister now effectively a President? (40 marks) The arguments that used to take place among political academics about 'prime ministerial government' have now largely disappeared. Few, if any, now doubt that the office of prime minister dominates the British political system. As long as the holder of that office is not faced by too many limiting factors, such as a small parliamentary majority or a divided party, the British system has moved away from the traditional 'cabinet government' model to a 'prime ministerial' model. But a somewhat different question has emerged concerning the role and importance of the prime minister. This asks whether the system has now become 'presidential'. The prime minister has come to be, effectively though not legally, the head of State, the leader of the nation, irrespective of party allegiance. It should be stressed that this is not the same as national 'popularity'. Rather, it means that in times of difficulty, emergency or crisis such as war or terrorist threats, the country can unite behind its head of government. Nothing new in that, and certainly it has always been true to a great extent. But it can be argued that there has been a long term drift towards seeing the prime minister of the day rather than the monarch as national leader, and thus creates a more presidential 'feel' to the prime minister. The prime minister now has an extensive network of personal advisers, think tanks, policy units and working groups...

Words: 1460 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Time to Follow Rajdharma Mr. Prime Minister

...New ruler had and still continues to have an impeccable integrity, a no-nonsense approach towards public service, and a past as Chief minister which would make any politician jealous of him. The Indians had found a panacea in Narendra Modi, who we sincerely believed would take our country to glorious heights. There is no doubt that new sant of Sabarmati has been incessantly trying to deliver whatever he had promised and he has considerable achievements in his kitty from his 18 months rule. India has become the fastest growing nation overtaking china. India has become an important player in global politics, a more proactive and pragmatic foreign policy. The govt has been able to ensure high growth with low inflation (food inflation though has been high) and that too with low fiscal deficit. The Indian policies are now being implemented in mission mode, the prominent examples being PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) and Toilets in schools. We find no example in recent history of Indian schemes completed on time. In social sector, Accidental and life insurance at Rs12 and Rs 330 have come as a huge relief to the poor and the marginalized sections of society. Moreover in all these 18 months he has never made a single statement which can be construed as even being remotely communal. He has truly upheld the dignity of the office of The Prime Minister. Modi deserves Kudos for all these achievements. This shining story has its other side also, which looks most unpleasant and......

Words: 787 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Explain the Factors a Prime Minister Considers When Appointing or Dismissing Ministers.

...source, a prime minister may choose to appoint those who have shown and proven that they can deliver in their departments. It says in the source that ‘the prime minister sees the second half of this parliament as the delivery phase’. This shows that a prime minister would want to put those in positions of power who have evidence showing that they are successful in the policies that they implement and can do this effectively. Therefore they would not want to promote, and would want to dismiss, those ministers that have not delivered and whose performance has been dissatisfactory. For example ‘Caroline Spelman’ is likely to be a victim of being sacked or demoted as she ‘has failed to recover from the fiasco of failed plans to sell off parts of the national forest’. Also suggested in the source is the fact that other influential politicians may have an effect on the prime ministers appointments or dismisses. It says ‘the appointment of Mitchell shows the influence of George Osborne, his close supporter’. Because George Osborne is the Chancellor of the Exchequer he would be an important MP, the fact that he supports another minister would encourage David Cameron to promote this minister. This influential minister may work particularly well, or agree on many policies with another politician. Equally if an important minister does not support another politician, or does not collaborate well with them, they are more likely to be dismissed. Another factor that the prime minister......

Words: 386 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair

...September 11, 2001 changed the lives of everyone. 2,977 dead and millions of families grieved.  Two very important people who grieved as well, but showed an infinite amount of support  through the years were: President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. They both gave  speeches on the incident and said some encouraging yet heartfelt words towards the families  affected and towards our nation. Each took their own interesting routes, but overall had the  same supportive conclusion.   President George Bush as leader of our nation had to take a more serious and optimistic path.  He tried to lead us to believe that even though we suffered a great lost, the future will always be  better. He uses Anaphora to show us that even though we were going through a rough patch  our battle wasn’t finished. “We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” President Bush  doesn’t fail to reassure us that the grass is always greener on the other side. Bush shows off his  optimistic tone with this line “It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return  almost to normal.” He has hope for a better tomorrow. The diction used in that statement leads  us to believe that Bush was ready to stop dwelling in the past. His syntax in this speech was off  the charts as he tries to leave off with a speech that is almost like the speech a general gives  his troops right before a battle. Words like “determined”, “strong”, “freedom”, and “courage”  leave us ......

Words: 830 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Prime Minister Now Affectively a President

...Is the British Prime Minister now effectively a president? Nowadays the British prime minister is effectively a president, as the role has increasingly acquired presidential powers and been carried out in presidential style in order to become more dominant of government in general. Although the distinction between the legislature and executive in the UK is blurred and the prime minister is technically different to a president, the prime minister is now effectively the Chief of the Executive, Chief of State and Commander-in-Chief in Britain – these are typically considered presidential functions. This means that prime ministers in the UK are now more powerful and very similar to presidents – they govern in a similar way, and have similar prerogatives. Many argue that the British prime minister is unique and unlike a president because of the overlap between the executive and legislating branches of government. Whereas in the UK the prime minister’s party has a majority in the upper legislative chamber, and he can therefore harness parliamentary sovereignty, in America the legislature is independent of the president and can act as a barrier to his mandate. For example in 2012 Obama’s ‘Bring Jobs Home’ Bill, which would take tax breaks from companies that ‘outsource’ jobs abroad, and give them to ‘insourcing’ companies was blocked by Senate Republicans, 42 of whom voted against it. 17 other bills with similar widespread public appeal such as this one have been blocked by......

Words: 951 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Harold Wilson Prime Minister

...As Prime Minister Harold Wilson enacted social reforms in education, health, housing, gender equality, price controls, pensions, provisions for disabled people and child poverty. Harold Wilson, the son of a chemist and teacher, was born in Yorkshire during the First World War. In 1924, aged 8, he visited 10 Downing Street, which would eventually become his home. He studied Modern History for a year before transferring to Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, graduating with a first class BA. The Labour politician entered Parliament in 1945 as MP for Ormskirk and later becoming MP for Huyton. In 1947, then Prime Minister Clement Attlee made Wilson President of the Board of Trade. Aged 31, he had become the youngest member of the Cabinet in the 20th century. Under Hugh Gaitskell’s leadership of the Labour party, Wilson served as Shadow Chancellor from 1955 to 1961, then as Shadow Foreign Secretary from 1961 to 1963. After Gaitskell passed away suddenly, Wilson fought and won a leadership contest against George Brown and James Callaghan. As Labour leader, he won 4 of the 5 General Elections he contested, although this includes a minority government. His first election victory on 15 October 1964 saw him win with a small majority of 4, which increased significantly to 98 after a second General Election on 31 March 1966. As Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970, his main plan was to modernise. He believed that he would be aided by the “white heat of the technological......

Words: 677 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Sweden Prime Minister Bribery Law

...Samantha Laudick BU240 Professor Mariann Byrne 1/26/2012 The point of this news article is that Sweden’s prime minister, Beatrice Ask, asked legislation to look over a draft to make straightforward terms and conditions of bribery and corruption dealing with business matters. Although there had been a law for bribery and corruption since 1977 it was dreadfully vague and undefined in circumstances (Justice). This new bill will allow international traders to propose a policy to be followed in order to control benefits, which can be considered proper within the business loop. The new bill will make it easier to reprimand Swedish companies that use bribery and corrupt negotiators in business transactions internationally. Sweden’s new bill is in correlation to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the United States, “which forbids U.S. companies from bribing government officials or political candidates in other nations” (Wild & Wild 90). According to our text book a bribe is described as anything of value including gifts and money that influences one’s decision in favor of the payer (Wild & Wild 90). Works Cited "Justice Minister Calls for Tighter Bribery Laws - The Local." The Local – Sweden's News in English. 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2012. . Wild, John J., and Kenneth L. Wild. "Chapter 3." International Business: The Challenges of Globalization. Sixth ed. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print. Samantha Laudick | User Info |......

Words: 304 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Prime Ministers

...Chapter 2 – The Executive The Prime Minister What do you know about the roles and powers of prime ministers? • In Austria & Germany (Dr. Angela Merkel): chancellor • Prime minister: not only the chief executive of the state [In Europe], but also the head of one of the legislative parties. (usually the largest) ( Great power [in particular in single-party majority governments as Greece (Kostas Karamanlis), Britain (Gordon Brown)] ( The lack of any separation between legislature and executive. • In EU-style, the person who can muster a legislative majority ( Head of the executive • In such countries, the threat to the Prime minister comes from the governing party. Elements of power of the Prime minister: (1) Approved by the legislature (i.e. Parliament) as the political head of the government. (Most important task of the legislature after an election has been held.) - If the incumbent prime minister can collect the parliamentary votes to remain on office: he or she has “won” the election even if his party had large losses. - The politicians campaigning in Parliamentary elections are typically party leaders. - Electing/Approving a new prime minister is the central duty of a newly elected parliament. [Citizens vote for the party] - If citizens want to change their chief executive in a parliamentary government system, they do so by voting in legislative elections. (2) The modest role of head of state. Premier......

Words: 853 - Pages: 4