• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Has the role of the Prime Minister become more presidential?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Has the role of the Prime Minister become more presidential? The English Prime Minister Tony Blair has already been accused of being an 'elective dictator' but has he also become an English president as well? To delve into the answer you have to obviously compare what a president is with what our prime minister is, or has become. Lets first start with what a president is: a president is the head of state that holds key powers. The title of head of state refers to status and legitimacy, it is supposed to be something our PM is not as that position is held by our monarch Queen Elizabeth II, but as the power of the monarchy has wavered over the recent century, a number of PMs have basically been acting as England's head of state. For example, Thatcher claimed her encounters with Reagan were meetings of two heads of state and at the funeral of Princess Diana it was Tony Blair rather than the queen who expressed the nation's sorrow in a speech. ...read more.

Middle

A major difference in the position of PM and president though is that the president is directly elected by a country-wide constituency. Until, or if the election process is ever changed the Prime Minister will never have the right to this claim, but in recent history though, as election turnouts have dwindled it is hard to ignore the fact that a large percentage of voters have voted based on the leader of each party, rather than local candidates. For example in the run up to the 1997 elections part of the Labour campaign focussed around presenting Blair as a likeable, "just like us" man, being photographed in his Newcastle football shirt. This is also confirmed by the media where opinion polls and often voting patterns are primarily centred on public feeling toward the Prime Minister, rather than to the governing party as a whole. Now onto the cabinet; While a president can appoint a cabinet based on personal choice, a prime minister is restricted in the fact that he must appoint elected MPs. ...read more.

Conclusion

They point to the infrequency and reduced length of Cabinet meetings, the PMs Preference for informal ad hoc meetings with small numbers of selected ministers and staff around the sofa of his private office and Balir's regular abandonment of Cabinet agendas as if he has his own personal mandate because he feels he has been directly elected president-like. In conclusion, you cannot ignore the fact that Tony Blair's premiership appears to have evolved away from traditional cabinet government. Blair has undermined his cabinet by placing them on the edge of decision-making and basically re-possessing the Cabinet Office as a personal resource. People who do not support this idea though point to the fact that Prime Ministers can never be fully independent of Parliament like a president is of congress, they must woo and coax their colleagues and their party to support them and their policies, they must carry major colleagues who are rivals with them, prime ministers operate in a structured context and that Parliament use strategies to control the executive, some of which cannot be avoided such as media uproar. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Comparison of the US President and British Prime Minister.

    The standing committees of Congress, in stark contrast, are not under the control of the President and have a much wider range of powers when considering legislation, and are themselves key policy initiative areas, acting as an alternative to Executive dominance of the legislative program.

  2. The comparison of the US President and the British Prime Minister appears from the ...

    The President is aware that members of Congress often have their own interests as regards legislation, and therefore compromise is often the key to Presidential success. The individual wishes of Congressmen, it would therefore appear, are influential in the passing of legislation.

  1. To what extent has the Prime Minister become Presidential?

    example in the run up to the 1997 elections part of the Labour campaign focussed around presenting Blair as a likeable, "just like us" man, being photographed in his Newcastle football shirt. This is also confirmed by the media where opinion polls and often voting patterns are primarily centred on

  2. Arguments that the British Prime Minister is an elective dictator are arrant nonsense. The ...

    The separation of power principle was formulated by Montesquieu on the basis of his "perception of the eighteenth-century British constitution"16. The separation of powers divides state power into three forms - legislative, executive and judicial. The idea is "that governmental power should not be concentrated into the hands of one

  1. Has The Prime Minister Become More Powerful In Recent Years?

    Tony Blair is the most important man within government, and the chief communicator to it, and the public. Blair is seen to have more power, because he is not under pressure form the cabinet, to conduct more meeting with them, on political issues.

  2. Which do you consider to be the more powerful chief executive in his or ...

    This also illustrates the importance of circumstances. For instance, Thatcher's popularity was boosted by the Falklands conflict in the 1980s, yet Tony Blair was weakened by the foot and mouth and fuel crises of 2000. In the United States, the amount of legislative success a President can achieve varies greatly in accordance with his personality and circumstances.

  1. Is the role of the Prime minister becoming more Presidential?

    The obvious happened at the election when Tony Blair the leader of the labour party gained power to become the new prime minister. Tony Blair took a similar style of running the country as Thatcher depending on himself to run the country rather than the cabinet.

  2. Compare and contrast the position and powers of the US president and the UK ...

    In fact, in recent years the European Union has done little if anything to impact on important British legislation. It has intervened on issues that involve a few such as the sentencing of the Jamie Bulger murderers. But with the fear of encroaching federalism seemingly strong throughout Europe, it seems

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work