Prime Minister Power

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Discuss the view that the limits on the Prime Minister are too few and too ineffective Most political commentators accept that the power of the PM has increased in recent years. He/she holds considerable powers of patronage, for example, the ability to appoint life peers to the House of Lords, the Head of the BBC etc. In terms of the executive, he/she can also appoint and dismiss members of the cabinet and decides who will sit on cabinet committees. Further to this, the Prime Minister has the power to bypass cabinet if he/she wishes, perhaps if they have low support on a particular issue, by setting up cabinet committees and task forces. This effectively allows the PM to make a decision by themselves, in a Presidential fashion. If there is a case where the Prime Minister has a large majority, they have increased power and are often able to get most legislation they want passed. E.g. from his appointment as PM in 1997, Tony Blair had not lost a single vote in the House of Commons until November 2005. A reason that in the past may have supported the view that the limits on the PM are too few and too ineffective, and arguably the most important power that the PM had at his/her’s disposal up until recently is the ability to set the date of a general election. Before the Fixed Term Parliament Act was passed on 15 September 2011, the Prime Minister could call a general election at any time within the five year period. Usually the Prime Minister decided to call an election at a time when he or she was most confident of winning the election. However, this power has now been removed from the PM’s arsenal following the 2010 general election, and has subsequently limited the power on the Prime Minister. This is a very credible limit on the PM as it prevents ‘abuse’ of the law which may have kept leaders/parties in power longer than they should have. This piece of legislation
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