GOVERNMENT & POLITICS ESSAY HOMEWORK
Have UK Prime Ministers become more Presidential in recent years? In recent times many commentators have pointed out that the UK’s Prime Ministers are increasingly acting like Presidents- of course the UK Prime Minister cannot actually become a President as the system would not allow it. Below I shall be analysing and explaining the factors that highlight the growth of presidentialism in the UK, as well as the points which suggest that the UK’s Prime Minister is still a Prime Minister. In recent years there has been an increase in the growth of spatial leadership. The tendency of Prime Ministers to distance themselves from their party and government has increased, developing a personal ideological stance. Prime Ministers such as Blair and Thatcher are key examples. Both Prime Ministers have developed their own stances: ‘Blairism’ and ‘Thatcherism’. Blair, for example, had really bad attendance at Parliament and his Cabinet Ministers have been quoted as saying that: Cabinet meeting sometimes lasted only fifteen minutes. This shows that Blair had a tendency to act like a president. It can be said that Gordon Brown is distant from his Labour party to some extent, but not as extreme as Blair. Brown has good attendance at Parliament and regular Cabinet meetings do take place. On the other hand, one could argue that it is impossible for the UK Prime Minister to become a President, even thought he may act like one. The UK has a system of a Parliamentary Government rather than a Presidential system. The UK system includes a Cabinet and Parliament, to which the Prime Minister is accountable to, making it impossible for today’s Prime Minister to have a personal department like the USA President does. Although the UK has a Head of State, the Queen, most of her powers now lie with the Prime Minister- this proves that the UK Prime Minister is acting like a President- he is the head of government, but also carrying out the duties of...
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