Essay on Does Tony Blair Run a Presidential Style Administration

2149 Words Dec 6th, 2005 9 Pages

In this paper, I intend to analyse the extent to which the current Labour administration shows the characteristics of a presidential government. To do this, the term ‘presidential' must first be defined. A definition of a presidential government that is generally accepted by political analysts is ‘a system of government in which the powers of the president are constitutionally separate from those of the legislature.' The British system of government is parliamentary and does not match the definition of presidential. Therefore, the question must be answered by looking at the individual features of a presidential government and comparing them with aspects of the Labour
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He also said "The cabinet now doesn't make decisions. There is insufficient opportunity for people to debate, dissent and modify". (10 December 2004, The Times)

In the US presidential government, legislative recommendations to congress come directly from the president himself after he receives advice from the executive which is appointed by him. In theory, a parliamentary government's method of passing legislation should be for the Prime Minister, as the ‘first among equals', to consult the executive, which is part of the legislature, and reach an agreement with them before instructing parliament. However, many members of Mr Blair's own cabinet have criticised him for failing to take notice of them especially in the run up to the Iraq war.

The issue of Blair's foreign policy decisions is relevant in the discussion of his style of leadership. In a federal country such as the United States, the president spends relatively little time on domestic policy and much more time on foreign and defence policy. In recent years, Blair has been criticised for being ‘preoccupied' with foreign policy and neglecting traditional Labour values such as Trade Unions and other domestic issues. Blair responded to these comments at the TUC conference in September 2004 by saying "Even if I've never been away, it's time to show I'm back."

Clare Short believed that the Iraq war was an example of Mr Blair acting like a president.

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