The office is what the holder chooses to make of it. Access the accuracy of this statement in relation to the US President and the British Prime Minister.

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The office is what the holder chooses to make of it. Access the accuracy of this statement in relation to the US President and the British Prime Minister.

   This is certainly true of the British example; we only have to look at our present Prime Minister, Blair to see how he has moulded the office to suit himself, and subsequently been dubbed by the press as “President” Blair. However, the American example seems somewhat less malleable as under the US Constitution, many checks and balances are in place to prevent a President becoming too powerful.

    Is the argument true that Blair’s style of government is presidential? There is certainly substantial evidence to warrant such a conclusion. Blair’s persona seems to be one that is well above that of the general image and public perception of the Labour party. Blair has an image of being a world statesman perhaps even more so than George Bush. This can be seen after the events of September 11th as we watched Blair travel the world to discuss its implications with world leaders. This seems odd as should this not have been Bush’s job since the attack was on the United States, not the United States, it is also arguable that Blair has been stepping on the toes of Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, in his actions.

     Blair certainly appears to be the main man of British government, but theoretically he is merely first among equals. Blair lacks the mandate that Bush has since unlike Bush he is not elected directly by the people. His constituents have elected him as a mere MP, it is the Labour party which have placed him in such a pivotal position, so he needs to keep his party happy or they will remove him. An example of this is when the Conservatives removed Thatcher from her Prime Ministerial position in 1990, since they no longer supported her as party leader. Bush, on the other hand, is under no party obligation; his obligation is one directly to the people. Even so he cannot be removed before his four year term is up, unless by the legislature, for misconduct, through the impeachment process, though it is an extremely rare occurrence for a president to face impeachment. In the British system elections take place when the Prime Minister says so, this usually is somewhere around a four/five year period. It gives him a significant advantage in the election since, he is most likely to go to the polls when his party are riding high in the popularity ratings.

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      However, as long as Blair keeps his party happy they are of a huge benefit to him especially with the large majority they hold in the House of Commons, therefore he is able to get bills passed through the House with very little difficulty. It seems rather absurd to completely agree with the argument put forward which claims Blair acts in a presidential manner. If he was really the “power-freak”, as is often implied by the media, why has it been under his government that devolution has occurred? Clearly, as Rose argues these devolved governments reduce the ...

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