(1) Who has power in the executive


A level Governing the UK - 2C (PM, Cabinet and the Executive) Mind Map on (1) Who has power in the executive, created by Marcus Danvers on 01/09/2014.
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Marcus Danvers over 9 years ago

Resource summary

(1) Who has power in the executive
  1. What is the executive (usually referred to as the government)?
    1. Refers to those who form the centre of government
      1. The PM and Cabinet are the main institutions within the ‘core’ executive – their relative importance forms an important debate within the module
        1. Network of key institutions and people
          1. Also includes junior ministers & civil servants including members of the cabinet office
            1. All in a “power network” within Westminster
              1. Power is fluid and can move between individuals at different times
                1. Chief source of political leadership – PM directs government policy & defines strategic goals from within core executive
                2. Cabinet
                  1. Consists of the leading members of the government, chosen by the PM. Major decisions are made or ratified, and where disagreements within government are resolved.
                  2. Cabinet government
                    1. view that collective government survives and PM is not the dominant force within government. Decisions taken by a group after discussions in Cabinet according to this view.
                    2. Models of power
                      1. The prime Ministerial government - thesis suggest that the PM is the dominant - Foley
                        1. The Cabinet government model - suggests that the cabinet is still an important constraint on the PM - Jones
                          1. In more recent years, the executive model has suggested that relationship between actors are characterised as dependent
                          2. The Cabinet role and functions
                            1. Committee
                              1. Leading members of government
                                1. 20-23 members
                                  1. MPs or peers
                                    1. Most secretaries of state – responsible for running Whitehall departments
                                      1. Deputy PM, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary seen as the key posts
                                        1. Key ministers may meet as an “inner circle” – known as a “kitchen cabinet”
                                          1. “kitchen cabinet” meanes - a loose, informal group of policy advisors consulted by the prime minister outside the formal cabinet, including senior ministers, officials and special advisors
                                        2. Collective Responsibility
                                          1. Cabinet and cabinet committee members are permitted to express their views and disagree with each other up until the point at which a formal decision is made
                                            1. After this point all ministers must publicly endorse the decision or policy and keep any doubts private
                                              1. It’s function is to maintain an image of unity, and stop ministers publicly blaming each other for failed policies
                                                1. Resignations – Robin Cook and Clare Short over the decision to send troops to Iraq in 2003
                                                2. Role of the cabinet in theory and practice
                                                  1. THEORY
                                                    1. in constitutional theory the cabinet is the top body in the UK executive
                                                      1. it is the highest decision making forum
                                                      2. There is a CONVENTION of collective ministerial responsibility
                                                        1. PRACTICE
                                                          1. it is largely believed that the PM is now more individually powerful
                                                            1. could all major government decisions be discussed in cabinet meetings once a week, lasting less than 2 hours?
                                                          2. Role of Cabin perform
                                                            1. Formal policy approval
                                                              1. Decisions approved by cabinet to become official government policy. However, PM’s may make decisions separately.
                                                                1. E.g. Blair made decision in May 1997 to grant independence to the Bank of England to set interest rates, and consulted only with Brown
                                                                2. Policy coordination
                                                                  1. Key role of modern cabinet
                                                                    1. Cabinet ensures ministers know what is going on in other departments
                                                                      1. Stops ministers becoming too “departmentalised” and see the bigger picture
                                                                        1. Helps “join up” government
                                                                        2. Resolves disputes
                                                                          1. Most differences between ministers and departments are resolved at a lower level BUT it is a final court of appeal for disputes
                                                                          2. Forum for debate
                                                                            1. Can be used by PM and ministers as a sounding board for issues
                                                                              1. BUT there is limited in time for this
                                                                              2. Party management
                                                                                1. In making decisions it takes account of the views of the parliamentary party
                                                                                  1. The chief whip is a cabinet member
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