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Doesn't look good at all ... Dominic Cummings in full control.

Presidentialization in the United Kingdom Prime Ministerial Power and Parliamentary Democracy


Prime Ministerial Chief Executives can access theoretical and practical, formal and informal power resources that extend their authority in government. Studies of executive politics in the UK are best served by `bringing the Prime Minister back in', applying a theory of `presidentialization' rooted in a centre-periphery model of a semi-pluralist but definitively hierarchical executive. Here, with regard to actors and institutions, power is relational, but also locational in an executive within which the Prime Minister (as both actor and institution) is sited at the apex of the hierarchy.

Invariably subject to intra-executive and executive-legislature relations, Prime Ministerial influence is contingent on transient institutional and personal resource factors. These include electoral strength, political base, success, and a favourable profile, resources in turn determined by parliamentary majority, policy record, backbench and frontbench popularity, party popularity, electoral rating, news media profile, and personalisation, the ever-growing association of political processes with political personalities. To date the `command premiership' demonstrates the centrality the Prime Minister can enjoy in British government. The parliamentary executive in Britain exercises considerably more powers to govern than does the presidential executive in the U.S. The Prime Minister commands considerable authority within the executive, he or she will possess as much executive power and far more legislative authority than does the U.S. President.

    'You're either a weak Prime Minister, in which case they'll knock you for that, or if you appear to have a clear sense of direction, and know what you want to do, then you are a quasi-dictator. And all this President Blair rubbish, it's absolute rubbish.' Tony Blair, The Observer, 5 September 1999.

    "They have got to know I'm running the show."Tony Blair, quoted in The Sunday Times, 26 April 1988

Even with devolution of power to Scotland and Wales, Britain remains to all extents and purposes a unitary, centralised parliamentary democracy with a majoritarian non-proportional electoral system, a two and a half rather than a multi party system, and a legislature which is effectively unicameral. This non-consensual, non-coalitional, hierarchical political regime produces single party government and provides the executive with considerable power and authority. Majoritarian government is a continuing feature of Britain's 'Westminster Model', and is the key factor in a creeping presidentialization which, within limits, under certain conditions and subject to ebbs and flows, has facilitated the growth of Prime Ministerial power within their party, the legislature and the executive in recent years.

A short animation that introduces the UK Parliament, looking at its history and how it works today.

UK Parliament

by Oui on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 05:33:44 PM EST
"presidentialization" formerly-known-as "unitary executive theory", formerly-known-as "monarchy"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 06:08:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 06:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point "Parliament works" is one of those great oxymorons ranking up there with "Microsoft Works".
by rifek on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 at 09:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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