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Functions of Cabinet

NatzG

Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:34 PM

could n e 1 plz help me in the function of the cabinet, i don't understand it.

Paul!"$%^&*1122

Posted 28 April 2005 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE(NatzG @ Apr 27 2005, 07:34 PM)
could n e 1 plz help me in the function of the cabinet, i don't understand it.

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the cabinet make the vital decisions in our democracy. this is an example of how the gov rule the parl. i don;t think u need to know this but anyway they make the vital decisions as it consitst of around 24 senior cabinet members.

NYPD

Posted 28 April 2005 - 01:51 PM

The cabinet are there to advise and aid the prime minister in both his policy formulation and implementation. Naturally though these people do have the formulation role reduced to an extent by Tony Blairs preference for special advisors. Implementation in reality is done by the Civil Service.

Each minister is in charge of a policy dept. e.g. health, education, transport, etc. The minister has to take charge of this policy unit, implementing Govt. policy and presiding over this area with the aid of civil servants. They then report on a regular basis to the PM and his 'inner-circle' whilst also being held accountable to the commons for their dept. Ministers answer questions on a rotational basis during PMQT which is an opportunity for fellow MPs to hold them accountable.

The role of the cabinet is said to be decreasing as Tony Blair has a 'presidential' style of Govt. So, in truth their power is being reduced and thus, their role. However, the cabinet has a vital role to play in the effective governance of the country and also in holding the PM accountable to the country through the constraints they can exercise on his power. Although, due to collective responsibility they can be controlled and the PMs powers can easily disperse of small numbers of 'rebel' ministers. It remains though, that in theory, one of their functions is to maintain effective governance and ensure that no one man is too powerful i.e. the prime-minister.

superstar

Posted 28 April 2005 - 03:03 PM

http://tutor2u.net/decks/poldeck19.asp

That is quite good for the functions of the cabinet
Soz i dont know how to put it into a link! biggrin.gif

ermd

Posted 28 April 2005 - 04:12 PM

I keep crockery in mine. smile.gif

Shaun

Posted 28 April 2005 - 04:37 PM

Lol!

Shuggy

Posted 29 April 2005 - 11:26 AM

The Cabinet = the government. Each Cabinet minister has a department to run. It's really that simple.

NYPD

Posted 29 April 2005 - 12:43 PM

QUOTE(Shuggy @ Apr 29 2005, 11:26 AM)
The Cabinet = the government.  Each Cabinet minister has a department to run.  It's really that simple.

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No, the cabinet is not the Government, as the Government is simply the party with the most seats in parliament. Thus, the cabinet is not the Government. It is made up of the Government (i.e. MPs from the party in Government) and is the top tier of Govt. making the main decisions and driving policy directions for instance.

superstar

Posted 29 April 2005 - 03:55 PM

QUOTE(Shuggy @ Apr 29 2005, 12:26 PM)
The Cabinet = the government.  Each Cabinet minister has a department to run.  It's really that simple.

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The question was about the function of the cabinet and that is really not all that simple! Especially cause Tony Blair doesn't use cabinet government as it is described in the text books! So to say that its really simple is not fair and unjustified to those people who may be a little confused!

lipu

Posted 29 April 2005 - 05:08 PM

The cabinet is where most of the bills that go through the commons, the lords and the monarchy origionate from the cabinet. So one of the main functions of the cabinet is the production of bills.

The definition of the cabinet as provided at http://www.parliament.uk is:
QUOTE
The Cabinet is made up of about twenty senior Ministers chosen by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet decides on government policy and co-ordinates the work of the different government departments. The Cabinet meets each week and also sets up smaller committees to look at certain issues. Cabinet meetings are private and its members should not disclose any information about them. There is also a Cabinet Office which is the central department of the Government. This department is responsible for ensuring that the Government can work efficiently and also manages the Civil Service.


by the way the website I took that quote from is a very good one and will tell you everythign you want to know and more about the workings of parliament. A good free recourse for anyone doing Higher Modern Studies

Shuggy

Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE(NYPD @ Apr 29 2005, 12:43 PM)
QUOTE(Shuggy @ Apr 29 2005, 11:26 AM)
The Cabinet = the government.  Each Cabinet minister has a department to run.  It's really that simple.

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No, the cabinet is not the Government, as the Government is simply the party with the most seats in parliament. Thus, the cabinet is not the Government. It is made up of the Government (i.e. MPs from the party in Government) and is the top tier of Govt. making the main decisions and driving policy directions for instance.

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NYPD - Dear boy, the government is unequivocally not "simply the party with the most seats in Parliament"; one can be in the governing party without being part of the government. Backbenchers, whether in the governing party or in the Opposition, are not part of the government - and if you've been told otherwise, I'm afraid you've been misinformed.



Shuggy

Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE(superstar @ Apr 29 2005, 03:55 PM)
QUOTE(Shuggy @ Apr 29 2005, 12:26 PM)
The Cabinet = the government.  Each Cabinet minister has a department to run.  It's really that simple.

View Post




The question was about the function of the cabinet and that is really not all that simple! Especially cause Tony Blair doesn't use cabinet government as it is described in the text books! So to say that its really simple is not fair and unjustified to those people who may be a little confused!

View Post



I was only joking, for goodness sake. Obviously there's more to it than that but the basic point stands: the cabinet is the government and its job is basically to run the country - both collectively and as individual ministers responsible for a department. I'm not surprised if people get confused if they haven't taken on board this basic point - but that's not my fault now, is it?

Shuggy

Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:50 AM

Ok, since a couple of people have gone into a huff because I said the function of the cabinet was a simple matter, here's a serious post about the role of the cabinet:.

Cabinet ministers are chosen by the prime minister to run each department of state - health, home office, defence, treasury etc. - by the Prime Minister. They are drawn from the party with the largest no. of seats in Parliament (the largest party in Parliament should not be identified with the government; backbench MPs from whatever party are not - by definition - in the government.

Each minister is then responsible to Parliament for the conduct of his or her department. Should the minister be seen to have failed their job in some way - or conducted themselves in a manner unbecoming a minister of the crown, their constitutional responsibility is to resign. This is known as the "doctrine of individual ministerial responsibility". However, it's broken down in recent years, largely as the result of the expansion in the civil service. Today ministers tend to blame their civil servants, saying this or that peice of paper or memo wasn't seen by them. The thing is, given the size of the average government department, in most cases they're probably telling the truth. But the convention, which seems to be lost these days, is that ministers were supposed to resign even if the departmental failure wasn't directly their fault.

The unwillingness to take ministerial responsibility can be seen with the recent debates over Iraq: no miniter has resigned over the non-discovery of WMD and defence secretary Geoff Hoon kept his job, despite the scandal of British tropps being sent into conflict without proper body armour.

Instead, ministers - if they eventually do resign - it tends to be over personal issues, like David Blunkett (using undue influence to obtain a visa for his lover's nanny) and Peter Mandelson allegedly using improper influence to obtain passports for the Hinduja brothers.

The Cabinet is also supposed to be collectively responsible for government policy; government policy is supposed to be discussed in Cabinet and when it makes a decision, all memebrs are bound by the convention of collective responsibility which holds that if a memebr doesn't agree with government policy, they should - effectively - put up or shut up. This is why Robin Cook resigned from the Cabinet on the eve of the Iraq war. Collective responsibility would have bound him to publically support the invasion of Iraq, which he wasn't willing to do. Claire Short, in contrast, spoke against the invasion but initially did not resign. This was a clear breach of ministerial ethics and is one of the reasons she lacks credibility amongst even those Labour MPs who opposed the war.

The problem with the notion of Cabinet Government and the idea of the PM being first among equals is that it hasn't borne any relation to the reality of UK politics for some time. Anthony Crossland complained about Harold Wilson being "presidential" back in the sixties; Thatcher's enemies - including Geoffry Howe and Michael Hestltine - complained Thatcher rode roughshod over the conventions of Cabinet government; and Blair is essentially accused of being a "Thatcher in trousers" not least for his approach to Cabinet meetings, where policy tends to be presented as a fait accompli.

Take Iraq again: all of the key decisions were taken by Blair, Hoon, and Straw. Other members of the Cabinet were rarely involved.

Nevertheless, they were consulted and voted on the war. For all the talk of presidentialism, it is - at the end of the day - the responsibility of the cabinet to ask searching questions at the time (of the legal position, for example) - which in this case, clearly they didn't do.

NatzG

Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:39 AM

Thanks to everyone who helped I really apprectiate it! Good luck with exams!!!
dry.gif

superstar

Posted 09 May 2005 - 03:30 PM

If u need any help with mod studs with the exam cumin up, just ask! i am happy to help!

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