Jan 2013 Essay

Submitted By Lilli-Reuel
Words: 2496
Pages: 10

Prime Ministerial Power
How the introduction of fixed-term Parliaments affects prime ministerial power? (5 marks)
Fixed Term Parliament Definition: The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 declare that parliamentary elections must be held every five years beginning in 2015 general election.
This act was something the Liberal democrats have long endorsed.
And something the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition finally agreed on after the 2010 general election.
Point 1:
Right Time- the Prime Minister cannot call an election when events are in his party’s favour.
Example: David Cameron might have preferred an early election before UKIP could gain more support
Example: favourable state of the economy, or a successful foreign policy (such as Libya), or some favourable crime figures
Take away- The act takes away the prime ministers arbitrary powers and the governments advantage in this.
Stability- The act believed to bring stability to the current coalition government as it would remove the PM’s power to use it as a threat to remove the Liberal democrats from power
Point 2:
Plan ahead - he can plan his programme in the knowledge of when the next election will be held.
Pass popular legislation -The positive side a comment such as the ability to pass popular legislation or perhaps reduce taxes just before the election would have been appropriate.
Example: Such as tax cuts or pension increases
Accountability – 5 year terms give voters more opportunity to hold politicians to account as the PM knows he has five years to try and fulfil his manifesto.
Explain three reforms, other than fixed-term Parliaments, which could limit the powers of the prime minister. (10marks)
Point 1:
Codified constitution- A codified constitution would clearly outline the powers of the prime minister and, therefore prevent a drift to greater powers. It would prevent a prime minister from defining his own role.
Point 2:
Powers to the EU- The transfer of powers to the EU can also limit government in general and as the PM is part of the government it suggests this reform would also limit the PMs power
Point 3:
Binding Referendums- If referendums were to become binding it would limit the Prime Ministerial powers because it affects the decisions and action the Prime Minister would make
Point 4:
Transfer of Power- If reforms such as the transferring of some of the PMs patronage powers to parliament or other bodies would limit the PMs power as they would be allowed to support the declare of acts of war, the signing of treaties.
This is something Gordon Brown proposed in 2007 suggesting MPs showed be allowed the final say on declaring war and on international treaties and would have a "bigger role" in approving public appointments.
To what extent have UK prime ministers become more ‘presidential’? (25marks)
Presidential Definition- Presidential comes from Presidentialism and this is a theory in which the status and power of the PM has grown to become more of a president or head of state but still remains a head of government only.
Why now?- In recent years we have seen a presidential style in our prime ministers in the UK with the televising of Parliament and TV debates.
Opinion- I believe the Prime Minister is still a effectively a PM and the suggestions to a presidential style comes from the increasing use of media and technology to enhance political participation.
Point 1:
Spatial leadership- Academic commenter Michael Foley describes spatial leadership as the PM separating themselves from government.
In the past some PMs have criticised government suggesting that they stand above it
PM Distance from Party- the Prime Minister is central to the election campaigns. This is parallel to the USA election campaign style.
Increase in Money- There has been an increase in the amount of money that is being spent on election campaigns. Similar to the USA.
Media- The media are treating the PM as a Quasi President, concentrating more on…