(6)The constraints on the Prime Minister: The PM and coalition government

Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers about 6 years ago
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A level Governing the UK - 2C (PM, Cabinet and the Executive) Mind Map on (6)The constraints on the Prime Minister: The PM and coalition government, created by Marcus Danvers on 01/28/2014.

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(6)The constraints on the Prime Minister: The PM and coalition government
1 A Commons majority and a unified party are the two key requirements for effective prime ministerial power
1.1 A "hung" Parliament changes this because, in minority or coaltion government, PMs are much more vulnerable to pressure exerted by another party or other party
1.2 The Con-Lib dem coalition in 2010, David Camerons power as PM must be understood in the light of the new and dynamic framework that coalition governmemt establishes
2 Fixed term Parliaments
2.1 Under this, the next UK general election will take place on 7 May 2015. An election could still be triggered with a 2/3 majority of no confidence by the Commons.
2.2 The introduction of fixed-term Parliaments is significant because it means that the PM has effectively surrendered a key power, the ability to dissolve Parliament and to call a GE
3 Power of patronage
3.1 The appointment of a cabinet in the first place, and subsequent reshuffles, promotions and demotions, have to take account of their impact on the coaltion.
3.2 Cameron had to bind the whole cabinet together in its Con and Lib Dem members alike. especially in view of the unpopular nature of some of the policies. The Lib Dem were given prominent roles in the Cameron government.
3.2.1 Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, and four other Lib Dems were appointed. This ensured that Lib Dems were closely involved in coalition's economic strategy
3.2.2 Vince Cable was Business Secretary
3.2.3 David Laws Chief Secretary to the Treasury
3.2.3.1 Laws was responsible for negotiating the programme of spending suts with each government department
3.3 The constraints were illustrated at the end of may 2010, when Laws resigned over parliamentary expenses. Danny Alexander (Lib Dem) was appointed for a like-for-like arrangment. The failure to sack Vince Cable in December 2010, over his comments on opposing to Rupert Murdoch's proposed take-over of BSkyB - neutral. Cameron snd Clegg's reluctance to lose Cable reflected his important role in the cabinet and his support amongst grass-roots Lib Dems
4 Prerogative power
4.1 This affect all the decision- making processes of government, inhibiting the PM's capacity to exert policy leaderhship.
4.2 This occurs because, unlike single-party govenment, coaltions invole an ongoing and complex process of negotiation, conciliations and conflict resolution between coaltion partners
4.3 In the case of Con-Lib Dem coaltion, Camerons policy influence has been limited in a number of ways:
4.3.1 There is deep disagreement between Con and Lib Dems, independent commissions or policy reviews have been set up develop compromise proposals
4.3.1.1 By january 2011, there were no fewer than 90 such commission or reviews were in existence, ranging from the replacement of the Trident nuclear system to the future of control orders on terrorist suspects
4.3.1.2 Such devices may help to keep the peace between coaltions partners, but they also prevent the PM, from taking personal control over controverial issues
4.3.2 One of the important features of coaltion government is the greater need for formalized decision-making to maintain trust and transparency between coaltion partners
4.3.2.1 A Cabinet Manual, was published in 2011, which provides guidance about the conduct and relations between government. This means it will be more difficult to return to Blair-style "sofa govenment
4.3.2.1.1 This greaterly restrictes the PMs ability to influence departmental agenda through bilateral meetings with key ministers
4.3.3 In the case of higher level strategic and policy differences between the coaltion partners, Cameron has used what is sometimes called "the quad" - meetings between Cameron, Clegg and their two closest senior Cabinet colleagues, the Chancellor George Osborne, and Danny Alexander
4.3.3.1 Such arrangments to ensure unity between the coalition partners are also evident in the fact that there is a Lib Dem presence in every governmnet department and in the coaltions use of the cabinet committees
4.3.4 Undoubtedly, the most important relationship within the coaltions is between Cameron and Clegg, who quickly developed a close working relationship and meet on a regular basis
4.3.4.1 Some have argued that Clegg's "deputy" role within this realtionship is misleading as, to keep the coaltion on track, the two must function as equals
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