Have Uk Prime Ministers Become More Presidential in Recent Years?

1019 Words Oct 25th, 2010 5 Pages
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS ESSAY HOMEWORK
Have UK Prime Ministers become more Presidential in recent years?
In recent times many commentators have pointed out that the UK’s Prime Ministers are increasingly acting like Presidents- of course the UK Prime Minister cannot actually become a President as the system would not allow it. Below I shall be analysing and explaining the factors that highlight the growth of presidentialism in the UK, as well as the points which suggest that the UK’s Prime Minister is still a Prime Minister.
In recent years there has been an increase in the growth of spatial leadership. The tendency of Prime Ministers to distance themselves from their party and government has increased, developing a personal
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These sorts of powers would generally be associated with a President, not a Prime Minister.
In the USA, the President and the houses are elected separately, however in the UK, the Prime Minister is elected, primarily, as an MP- it is the leader of the winning party who gets the role of Prime Minister. However, in recent years, election campaigns have become really personalised- focussing more on the party leader’s personality, strengths and weaknesses rather than the party’s policies, promises and ideas as a whole. The lead up to the next general election demonstrates this: the party leaders of the three major parties have become the ‘face’ of their party’s election campaign. The media concentrates more on the party leader rather than the party as a whole- just like in USA. For the first time in British history, there is going to be live debates between the three leaders-again just like the run up to the American general elections. These points highlight that the UK is beginning to adopt some American, presidential traditions, it can be said that this is a strong sign that presidentialism is growing in the UK.
Although the UK Prime Minister is elected separately through Parliamentary elections, unlike the USA President, there is a trend for Prime Ministers to claim popular authority on the basis of electoral victory. Prime Ministers have therefore become the ideological consciences of their
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