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Flashcards in PM and Cabinet Deck (23):

What is the government?

includes approximately 100 ministers and senior party officials who are appointed by the PM. These people form an "inner circle" which governs the country


Who is included in the government? (8)

-members of the cabinet (~23)
-Heads of large government departments
- A small number of other senior party members
-Senior non-cabinet posts (~15)
-Junior ministers who are not in cabinet (~60)
-Whips (~17)
- ~115 members


Who are senior non-cabinet posts?

are the holders of important and offices, such as Attorney general, who are not quite senior yo be in the cabinet


What is collective responsibility?

Is the principal that all government ministers are collectively responsible for all decisions of the government. It also means that ministers must publicly support all official policy or resign or face dismissal


What are the 2 over all factors which the PM must consider when appointing the members of the government (cabinet)?

1. Which individual should be brought into the cabinet?
2. What should be the 'political balance' of the cabinet?


What are the 2 individual considerations a PM must have for appointing the members of the government?

1. looking at how effective of a minister they will be to manage a department and implement policy successfully - Andrew lansley
2. Members have to be politically reliable - willing to accept collective responsibility and support the government in public - Blair appointed Mo Mowlem to Northen Ireland - she is difficult to control but would fight to achieve progress


What are the 2 team considerations a PM must have for appointing the members of the government?

1. PM with strong ideological motivation: select ministers who share view, helps ensure that their gov is united and dynamic - Thatcher
2.Aim for political balance -that members from different sections of the party- John major ensured that both the right wing and moderate sections of the party had representative in the cabinet


What are 2 disadvantages of a coalition government?

1. Less democratic?
2. less transparent-the manifestos they present to the public become irrelevant, Real decisions made after the election, in a process of secretive backroom negotiation, public is excluded, undermines accountability, voters cannot expect individual parties to deliver


What are the 4 differences in the cabinet under a coalition government compared to a majority government?

1. Some policies cannot be agreed and so result in 'agreements to differ'- Some Libdem against nuclear power generator but had to support specific cabinet decisions to build new nuclear power stations
2. Negotiations must take place between the coalition partners
3. Collective responsibility comes under stress if there is genuine widespread disagreement- taxation policy: LibDem Vince cable, business secretary- mansion tax, Nick clegg- tycoon tax, conservatives didn't want any
4. Compromises must take place otherwise the coalition will be destroyed


What are the 3 differences in the selecting of the members of the cabinet in a coalition government?

1. PM must consult partner about which members of the other party should be included
2. Balance of membership should reflect balance of the strength of 2 parties in the HOC- 18 con:5 libDem
3. PM must give leader of coalition a prominent role (deputy PM)


What is the cabinet government?

refers to the idea that the cabinet is the central decision-making body and lies at the heart of government.


What is prime ministerial government?

is the ides that the central government is now dominated by the prime minister


Who is the cabinet secretary?

most senior civil servant who came to serve the PM almost exclusively


What is sofa politics?

Discussions with senior ministers are held outside the cabinet


What is the commander-in-chief?

a politician or head of state in supreme command of a country's armed forces


What is a quad government?

a high-level executive committee that comprises of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander and is one of the coalition’s key decisions making bodies.


What is are Cabinet committees?

groupings of Ministers designed to take the pressure off full Cabinet and to provide a lower-level forum for decision-making, consideration of current issues relating to government and resolution of inter-departmental disagreement.


What is a specialising sub-committees?



What is individual responsibility?

is the principle that each minister is responsible for the work of their department and must account for all its policies and decisions. Where serious errors are made, the minister may be required to resign. It also means that ministers may be obliged to resign for matters of personal misconduct


What are the other possible types of government in the UK as a result of a hung parliament - no single party has a clear working majority in the HOC following a general election?

1. Minority -formed by a political party that does not have an overall majority of MPs in the House of Commons.
2. Coalition - formed jointly by more than one political party. Parties may decide to form a coalition government if there is a hung parliament


What are some difficulties experienced by a minority government?

Feb- oct 1974 and 1920s
-Usually short lived
-cannot attempt to pass significant legislations - waiting for a fresh general election w/ decisive result


What countries consider coalition government normal?

Germany, Sweden and Japan.
However often unstable in Italy and Israel


What are the 4 types of coalition governments?

1. Majority - 2 parties = parliamentary majority (2010-15)
2. Grand -2 major parties = overwhelming majority
3. Rainbow - one large + several small
4. National - all parties = unity used during great depression + WWII