Prime Ministerial Versus Cabinet Government

Topics: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Westminster system, Prime minister Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: February 19, 2006
In this assignment, I will clearly analyse the concept of prime ministerial versus cabinet government. I will talk about the role of the prime minster and the cabinet and assess the prime ministerial power versus the cabinet. All sources of information will be referenced.

The cabinet is the executive committee of the government and all its members are appointed by the Prime Minister and it is chaired, answerable to and accountable to the prime minister (Wilson 2003). The cabinet is formed to decide on major policies to be adopted in the country and abroad. They also deal with unforeseen major problems such as terrorist's attacks and the cabinet also meets to coordinate the policies of different departments and planning of long tem government policies. All government decisions are taken collectively and defeat on a motion of confidence requires the resignation of all members of the government. According to BBC News (2003), Clare Short who was secretary of state to international development resigned in 2003 as she did not support the British government going to war with Iraq without a clear mandate from the United Nations. According to BBC News (2003), Robin Cook who was the leader of the House of Commons also resigned over the Iraq war stating that he could not accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support.

The prime minister is the one who holds the power over the cabinet as he can appoint the minister to the cabinet, dismiss them or promote them. The prime minister chairs the cabinet, decides on the agenda and he is the one who ultimately decides on how different issues will be dealt with. The prime minister controls the way a policy is processed, sets the framework for ministerial policies, holds the power in making executive decisions and may make important decisions with whom he wishes and sometimes without reference to other cabinet members....
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