The UK democratic system has many flaws which have been criticised for numerous reasons. Firstly, the UK holds elections every 5 years to elect a new prime minister. Lord Hailsham criticised the electoral system as "elective dictatorship" due to domination of single party over number of years as once the new prime minister is appointed to power he no longer considers the views of the people and makes the changes which he thinks are needed. An example of this is when the previous Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed to send British soldiers to fight in Iraq. Another example is when Britain joined a referendum by becoming a part of the E.U.
Due to the increasing presidential style of recent prime ministers and the party loyalty of the executive one can consider Parliament’s control of executive power minimal. However, due to the development of independent bodies surrounding Select Committees and the delaying of legislation by the House of Lords it can still be argued to be effective. The government usually has an overall majority. This is due to our voting system of FPTP which gives preference to the two main parties, normally giving them majorities (and increasingly large ones) as opposed to coalitions and minority governments which are produced through other voting systems such as AV in Scotland and Wales. Although we are currently in a coalition the government still has a majority through the combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Cameron experienced his first defeat over the EU Budget last week, with more than 50 Tory MPs rebelling. There was majority of 13, in favour of a rebel Tory call led by Mark Reckless for a real terms cut in the European Union's budget. This proves that some backbenchers are brave enough to take action and not be unquestionably loyal to the government. The number of U-turns that the current government has done indicates that the threat of a backbench rebellion is sometimes enough to persuade them to drop a policy. In 2010 backbenchers were threatening to rebel over tuition fees.
Overtime, the role of the cabinet may have increasingly been seen to be less and this may have changed peoples’ perception on the system of government used in the UK. The fact that a Prime Minister can dominate parliamentary proceedings gives him/her great power, and this has been linked to the concept of an ‘elective dictatorship’. Prime Minister dominance has occurred in recent years, with the leadership styles of Thatcher and Blair being of particular significance. Blair as prime minister used bilateral meetings with ministers, to discuss important policy decisions. This led to dominance over the cabinet and Blair being seen more as a ‘President’ than a Prime Minister.
Sir Patrick Hastings, the Attorney General, initially advised Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister, to prosecute Campbell under the Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797. The case was handled dreadfully and Ramsay MacDonald faced a motion of no confidence in the House of Commons over the way he had dealt with the case. The opposition parties accused the minority Labour government of being under the influence of the Communist Party of Great Britain. In the debate that took place on 8th October, MacDonald gave an uninspiring account of events and when he lost the motion by 304 to 191 votes, he decided to resign and a general election was announced for Wednesday, 29th October,
Like presidents, modern prime ministers can generate different political resources through these different roles and the techniques required by them. At the same time and in similar fashion to presidential politics, prime ministers are increasingly monitored and assessed according to criteria that are quite different to those experienced by senior colleagues, also like Presidents a modern day prime minister is often voted in due to factors that have nothing/ little to do with their political agendas, for example in 1997 Tony Blair
The main functions of the Cabinet are registering and ratifying decisions taken elsewhere in the cabinet system, discussing and deciding on major issues, receiving reports on key developments and determining government business, and settling disputes between government departments. However, even though these are the formal roles of the Cabinet many would argue that the Cabinet is now more of a formality and the power actually lies only with the Prime Minister. Firstly, it can be argued that the Cabinet is no longer an important body
Domestic Policies: Bush retained many of Reagan’s cabinet. Collided with the Democrats in Congress over his nomination of former Senator John Tower as secretary of Defense – womanizer, heavy drinker, and brawler; the Senate rejected the cabinet appointment, the first such occasion since 1959. Legislative Agenda: Bush vetoed to keep the Democrats from making too liberal decisions for example raising minimum wage. Resolution Trust Corporation – liquidate the failed Savings and Loans and rescue the still-viable ones – gave $166 billion to close or merge bankrupt savings and loan firms. Treasury gave $500 billion to keep financial markets from being rocked by bad judgment of bankers and politicians.
Instead, Romney used his time to rebuke Obama and did not express his position as much. “Why am I lowering taxes on the middle-class? Because under the last four years, they've been buried,” Romney said. Even though, Romney tried to overcome Obama; Obama fought back better than the last presidential debate. When Romney attacked Obama for hindering the use of coal, the President recalled an appearance of Romney as governor of Massachusetts, where he vowed to shut down a coal-fired power plant.
B) Explain the divisions that exist within the conservative party over ideas and policies. (10 marks) Due to changing policies in the face of different leaders division exist with the party over ideas and policies. The party may contain division in the way to move forward from their Thatcher past. Traditionalists hold a belief in an ordered society and a belief in a strong heavily involved government. The more liberal section of the party hold views in more environmental protection and those who seek to modernise the party, which was Cameron’s initiative, by promoting strong social justice.