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Prime Minister Dominates the Executive Power in the United Kingdom (Research Paper Sample)


Discuss how the British Prime Minister Dominates the Executive Power in the United Kingdom


Prime Minister Dominates the Executive Power in the United Kingdom
City and State:
Executive Power in the United Kingdom is Dominated by the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister dominates most of the executive power in the United Kingdom. The executive constitutes the part of the government with the sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the country (Stewart, 2010). The branch of the executive executes and reinforces the law the law of states. The united Kingdom Monarch and the immediate family are constitutional and are responsible for bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister. According to Allen (2003), the monarch acts within the constraints of convention and precedent, and exercises prerogative powers on the advice of the prime minister. The prime minister holds a weekly audience with the monarch; the records of these audiences are not taken and the proceedings remain fully confidential (Stewart, 2010). The monarch may express their views, but as constitutional rulers, they must accept the decisions of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister dominates the executive power in the United Kingdom; however, there are cases where the Prime Minister does not have full control of the executive.
The Queen appoints the Prime Minister, who then appoints all other members of the government. This power to hire and fire extends to all ministers and cabinet members, giving the Prime Minister substantial control over the careers of members of parliament and peers. The Prime Minister can also create and establish new posts, departments, committees, policy units and even merge the existing ones at will (Allen, 2003). This implies that the Prime Minister controls most of the governmental departments and commissions. Additionally, the Prime Minister has the powers to appoint and dismiss the government ministers. Since the beginning of the 19th century, the Prime Minister has been the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons. The power of the Prime Minster is based on the Royal Prerogative, where they exercise power on behalf of the monarch. Thus, the Prime Minister dominates the executive power of determining the members of parliament, cabinet, and ministers.
As the head of intelligence and security services, the Prime Minister determines the composition of these agencies (Booth, 2006). The Prime Minister regulates their roles and functions and can deny permission if the security services want to carry out a particular task. The Prime Minister also appoints senior officers of the armed forces, and thus controls their functions. Other appointments carried out by the Prime Minister include top ecclesiastical, regius professorships, public sector, appointments to royal commissions and the Mastership of Trinity College (Allen, 2003). Giving the Prime Minister power to do all these appointments makes them to dominate the executive power. This is because the power to appoint is given together with the power to control.
Head of the Executive
The Prime Minister is the head of the executive. As the head of the executive, the Prime Minister is the chief policy maker because of the pre-eminence in making the government’s policy (Stewart, 2010). The Royal Prerogative gives the Prime Minister the power to make and break the composition of ministers and reshuffle the cabinet to meet the needs of government requirements. For example, Tony Blair decided to build the Millennium Dome when the cabinet stood against it (Stewart, 2010). Regardless of the fact that the announcement and the cabinet occurred simultaneously, the Prime Minister made the overall decision. Even though the prime minister can make such quick decisions, the cabinet can overrule their decisions, and they cannot impose policies through reluctant officials. Meetings must be conducted to make any ruling and the agreements from these meetings are bound to be followed to the latter.
Conduct Parliamentary and Cabinet Business
The Prime Minister is the chairperson of several select committees. These committees include Defence and Overseas Policy Committee, the Intelligence Services Committee and the Constitutional Reform Committee (Fairclough, Lynch & Magee, 2013). The committees involve series of decision making activities and determining various policies effective for administering these committees. The Prime Minister is always very influential in these committees. Traditionally, decisions made by the government were taken after various committees have met. For example, between 1945 and 1951, Clement Atlee established one hundred and forty-eight standing committees and other three hundred and thirteen existed primarily for temporary issues (Barber, 1995). The Prime Minister headed all these committees and influenced the decisions they made. The Prime Minister comes to decision after meeting with relevant head of government department appointed by the Prime Minister on the current topic of discussion. The Prime Minister also has the power to call meetings of the cabinet and its committees, and fixing the agenda of the meetings.
Media Optimization
The Prime Minister dominates the political system through the media. The main is the primary source that reflects the political views and shows the happenings in parliament. Most of the Prime Ministers have excellent speeches and charismatic in nature, thus they portray themselves as powerful leaders before the media (Barber, 1995). They seek the attention of the media by using their powers in order to influence the public to accept their decisions and political views. Gordon Brown is one of the Prime Ministers who gained international recognition due to excessive pumping of money into the economic system. His colleagues viewed him as the best debater; this was extensively covered in the media and encouraged the public to accept Brown’s opinions. Brown, therefore, continued to dominate the executive because people favoured him. The media, however, can limit the Prime Ministers from their dominance opportunities. When the leaders lose public confidence, they become electoral liabilities since the ruling party cannot accept their leadership. For example, Thatcher lost media and public confidence before her removal in 1990 (Barber, 1995). This implies that the Prime Minister may not optimize the media to dominate the executive power in the United Kingdom.
The Leader of the Ruling Political Party
Another source of the Prime Minister’s power is political party. The Prime Minister is the head of the ruling political party in the United Kingdom. This gives the Prime Minister sole authority over the coalition government (Fairclough, Lynch & Magee, 2013). The power of the Prime Minister stems from the fact that they are leading the largest political party that is bale to form the coalition government. The public votes through electing the party gives the Prime Minister the legitimacy and right to govern; the right to govern is backed with the power to dominate the executive.
The Prime Minister enjoys the parliamentary majority because the party has majority of the members in parliament and cabinet, who support the views and opinions of the Prime Minister. The minority, however, limits the dominance power of the prime minister since it is difficult to pass any legislation. For example, John Major started with a majority of 21before the by-election whittled his members of parliament to other parties (Booth, 2006). He relied on Ulster Unionist Members of Parliament, which reduced his powers of dominating the executive. Thus, the biggest challenge facing the Prime Minister is the ability to maintain the majority of the members in parliament. The possibility of minority limits the ability of the Prime Minister to dominate the executive because there are no enough members in both cabinet and government to support their ideologies.
Limitation of the Prime Minister’s Powers
The Prime Minister’s powers are sometimes restricted by pressure of events. Thus, there are events that the Prime Minister cannot control. For example, Harold Macmillan was asked why he was too worried about the political system. He answered that ‘events, ...
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