Executive Power 2 (Prime Ministerial Predominance (PM LEADS but does not…
Executive Power 2
Prime Ministerial Predominance
PM LEADS but does not COMMAND the Executive.
BUT they do not have a monopoly of power & have to work with ministers to reach their goals..
They have institutional resources (setting policy agenda) and personal resources (good media presence)
PM is the predominant figure in Gov.
Criticisms of Presidentialism Theory
Ignores significant differences between UK & US political systems
PM has greater resources than US President
PM powers uncontrolled prerogative powers. Presidents powers are subject to numerous controls.
UK has fusion of powers which allows for executive dominance
Greater party discipline in UK than in US
P is head of collegiate executive
PM is accountable to legislature
PM indirectly elected
Ignores contraints of Coalition Gov
Underestimates PM's reliance on Cabinet & party
Overstates PMS role
Presidentialism: Has it happened in the UK?
Presidential powers (esp. in US) controlled by Constitutional checks & balances. P powers are uncontrolled prerogative powers.
Unpopular leaders ousted by their own party
PM also needs personal qualities
PM's position only strong if they have public approval & policy success
PM needs support of Ministers & officials to achieve goals
Senior ministers supported by Gov departs
PM directs not controls the agenda
PM leads but cannot COMMAND the Executive
Especially in a Coalition
PM has additional authority as party leader
PM claims personal mandate to govern following election win
PM appeals to public directly through the media
"STRATEGIC SPACE" for PM's between them and their parties/governments
PM relies on close circle of senior ministers & advisors
Presidentialism (NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME AS U.S. PRESIDENT)
MICHEAL FOLEY, 1993, argued the PM is becoming more presidential. This Involves:
Distance between PM and their party (e.g. Blair and Cameron present themselves as outsiders in their own parties). PM relies on inner circle of advisors, not the Cabinet.
Communicator-in-chief for Gov. National spokesperson. Claims to represent public interest. Appearance on TV shows.
Personalised form of leadership
PM as a personality with a political vision (e.g. Thatcher/Blair). Also seen in election campaigns & televised TV debates.