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Taoiseach VS Primer Minister

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TAOISEACH VS. PRIME MINISTER 1 (a). Irish Taoisigi have much less control over their cabinets than their British counterparts. Discuss with reference to appropriate examples. ? The Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister are the most senior ministers of the cabinet in the executive branch of Government. They and their cabinets are accountable for all policies and actions to Parliament/Oireachtas, their political parties and the Irish/British citizens. They have the highest political authority in Ireland and Britain, lead the major political party and command a majority in the House of Commons/Dail. The current British Prime Minister is Conservative party leader, David Cameron, while the current Taoiseach is Fine Gael party leader, Enda Kenny. ? The Taoiseach and British Prime Minister both have to power to appoint, promote, demote and dismiss ministers to their cabinets, which gives them a great amount of control as they will appoint those individuals who have demonstrated great party loyalty to them (patronage) and for those cabinet members who aren't up to scratch, they can also be dismissed by the Prime Minister/Taoiseach or reshuffled to another position, which is most likely to be at a lower level. For example in in 1991, Taoiseach, Charles Haughey dismissed Reynolds and Flynn for failing to back his leadership and in 1992 Reynolds did the same as he refused to appoint Haughey supporters to his cbainet. ...read more.


in 2002 PD's had 8 TD's in the Dail, therefore they were able to get 2 Ministers into the cabinet. ? Other limitations to the Taoiseachs power to appoint Ministers include the fact that it is an obligation now to have female ministers in the cabinet, this yet again constraints the Taoiseachs power on choosing his own cabinet (the current cabinet has two female ministers, Labour minister for social protection, Joan Burton and Fine Gael minister for children, Frances Fitzgerald), this limits the pool of ministerial talent in which the Taoiseach can choose from. It is also encouraged for Ministers in the Cabinet to come from all over the island of Ireland (rural, non-rural, east, west etc.), however this it not reflected in the current cabinet as nine out of the fifteen ministers are from or close by the Dublin area and there are no ministers from Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. ? ? While coalition governments in Ireland are common and the last clear cut single party administration was in 1977 (Fianna Fail) they are less common in Britain. The current coalition between the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats is the first British coalition government from 1940-1945 which occurred due to the Second World War (the 'grand' coalition). ? ? The current British cabinet is lead by Prime Minister and Conservative party leader, David Cameron, his party is in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats as in the 2010 election they were unable to achieve the overall majority by winning less than 326 seats. ...read more.


Foreign Minister, Micheal Martin publicly announced he would vote against the motion, effectively presenting himself as a challenger to Cowens leadership, this lead to Martins resignation and the following day three more Fianna Fail and one independent minister were forced to resign to 'reshuffle the cabinet' so Cowen could strengthen his parties position for the election. However the Greens whom were a part of the coalition government refused to acknowledge the replacements and were angry as they were not informed by Cowen about the cabinet reshuffle and this ultimately lead to the collapse of the 2007 - 2011 coalition government. ? ? "Trust between the coalition parties had been greatly eroded, perhaps irreparably" - John Gormley, Green Party Leader. ? ? Faced with the collapse of his collation and a rebellion within this own party, Cowen announced on the 22nd January he would be resigning as the leader of Fianna Fail after the 2011 election took place. ? ? Overall the British Prime Minister currently has more control over his cabinet than the Taoiseach as the decline of party loyalties in Ireland have lead to an erosion of the Taoiseachs power (the civil war is not longer the issue that it used to be and voting is more instrumental). However, as Britain is currently in a coalition government, the Prime Minister does not have the same amount of power and control over his cabinet as his predecessors. ? ...read more.

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