It is logical to assume that a Prime Minister’s degree of power will be very dependent on the size of majority his party enjoys in the House of Commons. In the case of Blair, he enjoyed a very large one, with 63.4% of the seats filled by Labour MPs. Since the party won the right to govern, the Prime Minister carries all the elective authority with him. Also, with little opposition, it allows the Prime Minister to exercise his powers more efficiently, which would undoubtedly be very helpful when wanting to pass new laws. Cameron in turn, should expect to enjoy less power as he had to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, in order to achieve a majority.
In this essay, we will consider the performance of UK Parliament in 3 main functions: making laws, representation and controlling the Executive. The name “legislature” suggests that Parliament has something to do with making law. Although this is not the primary function, but still, undoubtedly appropriate as most laws certainly have to get the assent from both Houses ( the Lords and the Commons ) and Parliament can amend or defeat any law easily. Debates on bills constitute about 40% of the time spent on the floor of the Houses and in theory give backbenchers-people who support the government or the opposition, opportunity to infuence the shape of legislation with their speech. Along with the rising number of back-bench rebellions and MPs defeating government’s proposals such as the Syria war in 2011, it can be seen that Parliament is performing well in making laws.
The Cabinet is the committee of senior ministers who are the main collective decision-making body of the government. Many politicians debate over how much control the Prime Minister has over his cabinet. I believe that the Prime Minister has the ability to control their Cabinet tightly and does so effectively. The Prime Minister holds and chairs meetings with Cabinet ministers. He manages the agenda as well as summarising final decisions.
As a consequence, prime ministers have gradually institutionalised their involvement in policy. The view now, is that it is the prime minister, and not the cabinet, who dominates both the executive and Parliament. This happens because the prime minister is both the head of the civil service and the leader of the largest party in the Commons. As prime ministers have considerable authority in the management and controlling of cabinet, it is argued that cabinet has declined and so the power of the prime minister has increased. Prime ministers chair cabinet meetings, this enables prime ministers to harness the decision – making authority of the cabinet to their own ends.
The first and fore most undemocratic factor is how the senators are appointed to office. They are not elected, as they should be in a democratic government, but they are appointed this position by the Prime minister. Often he appoints his senators to gain a majority so his laws may be carried out and also he or she may give this position of power as a patronage to loyal supporters of their party. The second reason is the misrepresentation of the provinces and territories in the senate. The senate elects people for the amount of population in the area so both Quebec and Ontario have more representation than the rest of the country, especially compared to the Northwest territories and the Yukon who only have on each.
A constitutional monarchy is when the monarch is the head of state and they can influence who is in parliament. By appointing Pitt the Younger as Prime Minister, King George III carried out patronage, patronage is granting favours or making appointments to parliament in return for political support. Without the support of the king, Pitt would not have become Prime Minister to begin with. Pitt also managed to remain as Prime Minister
Henry also needed to control the nobility because if he didn’t, or only managed to control a minority, he could have a revolution, and Nobles, together, had a lot more money and power than the king himself. Firstly he gave the Earl of Surrey his lands back, bits at a time to ensure his loyalty, while having him as a key figurehead in the north to stop rebellions, since the north largely supported Richard and Henry needed to find a way of controlling them. Also Henry didn’t get rid of all the Yorkist nobles in the council, only those who thought against him. He did this so that he wouldn’t have a full scale Yorkist rebellion on his hands, but he couldn’t have people who wanted him dead and had fought against him on his council. As well as this, Henry needed to be effective at getting England onto a secure financial footing.
This shows that the PM, whether he feels that it is necessary or not, must ask advice of his cabinet ministers and especially of those who are Liberal Democrats in order to prevent unfairness in the cabinet. As a result, it is clear that the limitations within a coalition government is of full awareness to Cameron. Yet, it could be argued that David Cameron’s powers within the cabinet can considerably enhance his parliamentary power. Evidence of this can be brought from the fact that he can make the decision of which ministers get to continue with their jobs in the form of cabinet reshuffles. Thus, this can give enrichment to Cameron’s power as this can ensure that he gains a majority of support from his cabinet by simply removing those who he feels are untrustworthy despite the fact that he cannot remove every single minister he dislikes.
The election of the leader is very important part of political parties as people now vote more for a prime minster than governing party, for example conservative’s won over Labour because David Cameron was seen as more enthusiastic and inspirational then Gordon brown, where he was seen as dull and boring. This means individual members in Labour have a significant role and power in the party. However in the conservative the individual members don’t have as much power as the Labour members. The election of the party leader is different to the Labour party, the MP's select the two final candidates for leader through numerous votes, and the members only get to vote at the end of the process for party leader. This means that individual members don’t have the same amount of power than the MP's.
Another example of a PM who did not dominate the political system is Major. The Tory party and cabinet were split and hence Major lacked support; therefore he encouraged discussions within cabinet meetings. However, in hindsight it should be noted that Major and Callaghan both lacked a majority in the House of Commons and had to seize all the support they could. Another way a PM dominated the political system is by running it as a PM government. This is a govt.