Outline the different roles and assess the relative importance of the UK and US cabinets.

Essay by Cthooli2University, Master'sA, February 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.2

Downloaded 54 times

The underlying difference between the cabinet in the UK and its counterpart in the US is the function, which they are designed to undertake. In the US the Cabinet is seem by Presidents as more of a formality than a help and the cabinet its self is designed to advise rather than influence or make decisions as the UK cabinet does. In the UK the cabinet is made up of the Prime Ministers closest advisors and ministers whose job is to help the PM decide on new legislation and initiatives. The UK government system is currently thought of a Cabinet government. The Cabinet meets to discuss and debate topics and issues that are relevant to the public. Legislation is then decided on and it is back and passed through the House of Commons. However in recent years it would be fair to say that Tony Blair is moving away from the Cabinet government and more towards a prime ministerial/presidential government more in line with the United States.

There are also several other major differences between the two different cabinets.

One of the central features of the UK cabinet is its system of Collective Responsibilities. This is the system by which the entire Cabinet has to publicly back the decision of the cabinet. If a cabinet minister feels that they cannot back a policy then they have a chance to resign. This, however, does lead to a very public incident. The highest-ranking Cabinet Minister to do this in recent years is Michael Hesseltine who quit Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet in 1986 over the Westland helicopter affair. In the US there is no system of collective responsibility but then again, the Cabinet is not deciding on grand new schemes of legislation they are merely there to advise and discuss, therefore it is...