To what extent has Coalition Government affected the role and functions of Prime Minister and Cabinet - Essay Example

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The recent formation of a coalition government in May 2010 in the UK has evoked debates that have been largely unheard of since the establishment of the state in the early eighteenth century. Most general elections in the UK have witnessed whichever winning party bagging the…
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To what extent has Coalition Government affected the role and functions of Prime Minister and Cabinet
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Download file to see previous pages the Liberal Democrats and David Cameron’s Conservatives has been faced with different challenging administrative issues as compared to single-party governments that came before them. Issues of Cabinet Collective Responsibility, Individual Ministerial Responsibility, Cabinet Committees, and the Sofa Government have mostly changed the way former Prime Ministers have led a single-party government.
Collective responsibility at the level of cabinet involves taking a common stand and owning up whenever a no confidence vote is passed by legislators to facilitate an en-masse resignation over government incompetence (Palmer, 2011). What follows normally is the formation of a new administration, or dissolution of parliament to pave way for a general election (Debus, 2011). In the UK, the principle is applicable to all government officials, from cabinet secretaries to lower ranking members of the executive including Parliamentary Private Secretaries (Martin, 2013). Whereas in a single-party government the doctrine may be suspended to facilitate a no-holds-barred debate on key policy issues affecting the public, a Prime Minister under a coalition government tend to be intolerant to dissenting opinion for fear that it could degenerate into a split in and an eventual collapse of government (Bawn, & Somer-Topcu, 2012).
Paun (2011) suggests that even though collective responsibility was suspended in Britain in the 1930s debate about the implementation of protective taxation policies; and again in 1975 following the debate on whether the country should continue to serve in the European Economic Community, single-party Prime Ministers tend to be more democratic than their coalition counterparts when it comes to implementing collective responsibility. The isolated cases of breach of collective responsibility in majority governments and their lesser impacts could have informed Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision in 2003 to permit Clare Short to continue serving in government, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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