Prime Ministers within the UK are very well known figureheads, even to individuals that have little interest in politics PM’s are as present within society as celebrities are. Constantly in the public eye PM’s divide public opinion, each one runs the gamut of popularity with some people respecting greatly what a specific PM does , others hating it and others indifferent. What is largely agreed upon though is that PMs have a level power that is greater than the vast majority of the country, to what extent behind the general perception though requires further enquiry.
This essay aims to dig deeper into how much power the Prime Minister has within parliament and what balances and checks may limit this power, these balances and checks do come from within parliament but also spread out to include non formal entities including the public and the media. By looking at the parliamentary system within the UK and looking at other political actors that are outside of formal politics can help reveal the power the UK PM has and the ability to get things done their way. This can be achieved both by comparing and contrasting examples of Prime Ministerial role within parliament over time and that of different political systems in other nations.
The ruling of the people of the UK and the collection of power has always been from a centralised authority, this initially was through an absolute monarchy where rulers were born as opposed to chosen .This meant the King or Queen of the time had total rein over its people and all facets of rule such as the economy and law. Through time power shifted from the Monarchy which at present performs a largely ceremonial role to parliament and a democratically elected government. Parliament and government was more democratic than the Monarchy though levels of citizen participation in formal politics was not always a democratic as present. There were only certain people who could vote for example pg 16 in 1832 only 10% of the country could vote and it was higher class men , even when there was a 60% vote in 1884 it was all men and for equal suffrage women had to wait until 1928 . Some of these examples show the UK’s flexible constitution that has changed with the passing of time and unlike the USA for example it is not written down and can easily be altered, though there are still conditions which have to met including a parliamentary majority and citizen consensus. The UK Parliament is still a centralised authority held in London within Westminster and Whitehall but there are still checks and balances as it is not an authoritarian state.
The Prime Minister of the UK is not elected in and of themselves as in the USA where they pick the man or woman of choice, rather they are part of the interdependent parliamentary system that is made up of relative equals. To become Prime Minister an MP must firstly be leader of their party and then the electorate must vote that party into a majority, it is at this point that...