(12) How far is the UK Parliamentary
system becoming Presidential
1 Separation of Powers
1.1 Supreme court – replaced the House of Lords as
the Highest Court of Appeal in 2009. Strengthens
Judicial independence as breaks the link between
courts and parliament. Law Lords used to sit in
HoL constituting its appellate committee.
1.2 Separation of personnel
1.2.1 The Lord Chancellor – was once a threat to judicial
independence as head of judiciary and a member of
the cabinet. Since 2006 the role has been transferred
to Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellors
influence over judicial appointments has been
reduced. Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005
the Lord Chancellor has to swear an oath to defend
the independence of the judiciary
2 Collective Government
2.1.1 Growth of "spational
22.214.171.124 This is the tendency of the PM's to distance
themselves from the parties and governments by
presenting themselves as "outsiders" or
developing a personal ideological stance
2.1.2 Tendency towards
126.96.36.199 This is the tendency for PM's to try to "reach out"
directly to the public by claiming to articulate their
deepest hopes and fears. It is evident in the
growing tendency of the PM to speak for the
nation over major events, politcal crises or simply
high- profilr newsd stories.
188.8.131.52 It is also reflected in the "cult of the
outsider", the attempt by PM's to present
themselves as non-establishment figures
on the side of the ordinary citizens
184.108.40.206 The mass media increasingly portrays elections as
personalized battle between the PM and the leader of the
oppostion. Party leader thus become the "brand image" of their
parties or government, meaning that personality and image
have become major determinants of political success or failure.
2.1.4 Personal mandate
220.127.116.11 This is the trend for PM's to claim popular authority on the
basis of their electoral success. PM 's have therefore become
the ideological consciences of their party or government, their
chief source of conviction and policy direction.
2.1.5 Wider use of
18.104.22.168 PM's increasingly rely to hand-picked political advisors
rather than on cabinet, ministers and senior civial
servants. These advisors often have a personal loyalty
to the PM rather than to the party or government.
22.214.171.124 The size and administrative resource available to the
Cabinet Office have grown, turning it into a small-scale PM's
department responsible for coordinating the rest of Whitehall
3 Vote of No Confidence
3.1 A parliamentary motion whose passing
would demonstrate to the head of state
that the elected parliament no longer has
confidence in the appointed government.
3.2 Typically, when a parliament passes a vote of no confidence
in an existing government, the head of state must respond in
one of two ways:- ask another individual, whom he or she
believes will command the confidence of parliament, to try to
form a government- dissolve the elected parliament and call
a general election to elect a new parliament
3.3 The 1979 vote of no confidence in the government
of James Callaghan was a vote of no confidence in
the British Labour Government of James Callaghan
which occurred on the 28 March 1979.
3.3.1 The vote was brought by opposition leader Margaret
Thatcher and was lost by the Labour Government by
one vote—311 votes to 310—forcing a general
election which led to the election of Margaret
3.4 In 2009 the proposed vote of no confidence
in the Speaker of the House of Commons
forced the resignation of Michael Martin.
4 Fixed Term Elections
4.1 5th July 2011
4.2 Nick Clegg announced plans for fixed -term
Parliaments, in which the govt. could be removed by a
2/3 majority of the House of Commons - thus forcing a
general election before the date of the next election
4.3 Fixed-term Parliaments Bill received
Royal Assent on 15.09.11.