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Лингво страноведенье / Q- 26 prime minister

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Question 26 The Prime minister of GB and the Cabinet ( responsibilities and working principles). The Shadow cabinet and its role in political life.

Prime Minister or Premier, in government, the highest-ranking minister and in practice often the chief executive, even though a nation's constitution might provide for a king (monarchy) or a president (republic) as head of state. In most instances the prime minister is the chief formulator of governmental policy. The office of prime minister is particularly associated with the parliamentary system of government, and it is commonly held by the leader of the majority party or of a coalition of political parties. He or she is assisted by a cabinet and is responsible to the legislature. The legislature either elects or approves the prime minister and, when a majority of its members oppose government policies, may force him or her out of office.

The office of prime minister began to develop in the 18th century during the administration of Robert Walpole, but was not constitutionally recognized until 1905. The prime minister, who is formally appointed by the monarch, chooses the government ministers who are usually from the Commons, but can also be from the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. By modern convention the prime minister is always a member of the Commons, and by tradition is also First Lord of the Treasury and minister for the civil service. The prime minister's responsibilities also include recommending many of the appointments nominally within the sovereign's gift, including those of senior Church of England clergy and judges, privy councilors, the Poet Laureate, and the Constable of the Tower of London.

Ministers who are heads of government departments are normally known as secretaries of state; some have historic titles, such as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the head of the agriculture, fisheries, and food ministry is known as “minister”. Secretaries of state are supported by ministers of state, and by junior ministers, known as parliamentary undersecretaries of state or parliamentary secretaries.

The Cabinet

Supreme government authority is vested in the cabinet, which decides and implements policy and coordinates government departments. It normally numbers between 15 and 20 members chosen by the prime minister and approved by the monarch. It comprises the Secretaries of State; a number of non-departmental ministers who hold traditional offices (such as the Lord President of the Council, the Paymaster General, and the Lord Privy Seal); and also, at times, ministers of state. Cabinet government developed during the 18th century from informal meetings of Privy Councillors who were also government ministers, and who found that decision-making was easier and more efficient in a relatively small committee. Key doctrines of cabinet government are collective and ministerial responsibility. Collective responsibility means that the cabinet acts unanimously, even when cabinet ministers do not all agree upon a subject. The policy of departmental ministers departments and are answerable to Parliament for their departments' activities. They must be consistent with that of the government as a whole. Ministerial responsibility means work of their ministers are that responsible for the bear the consequences of any failure of their department in terms of administration or policy.

Executive, even though a nation's constitution might provide for a king (monarchy) or a president (republic) as head of state. In most instances the prime minister is the chief formulator of governmental policy. The office of prime minister is particularly associated with the parliamentary system of government, and it is commonly held by the leader of the majority party or of a coalition of political parties. He or she is assisted by a cabinet and is responsible to the legislature. The legislature either elects or approves the prime minister and, when a majority of its members oppose government policies, may force him or her out of office.

Among the 20 Cabinet ministers in 1999 there were:

Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister)

Foreign Secretary

The Home Secretary

The Minister of Defence

Lord Chancellor

The Secretary of State Education and Employment

The Secretary of Trade and Industry

The Secretary of Environment, Transport and The Regions

The Cabinet presides by the Prime Minister, usually meets for a few hours once a week in the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street.

The Cabinet’s functions are to make the main decisions about government policy as well as to exercise supreme control over and to coordinate government departments. There are many cabinet communities some permanent meeting regularly; others set up to deal with special problems.

Shadow Cabinet.

It is the team of ministers in the Opposition (the major political party not currently in power) who would probably form the Cabinet if their party won the next general election. Meanwhile, they individually deal with the same matters as the Cabinet ministers in the current government.

Shadow minister – a minister in the Shadow Cabinet. His particular area of responsibility, «Shadow Chancellor», «Shadow Home Secretary», will usually call him. See Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary. However, the party leader is known as the Leader of the Opposition, not the “Shadow Prime Minister”.

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