Study Cards on government, cabinet, executive

What are the two central features of cabinet government?
1. The cabinet constitutes the principal link between the legislative and executive branches of government; its members are drawn from and accountable to the parliament, but also serve as the political heads of the various government departments.
2. The cabinet is the senior executive organ, and policy-making responsibility is shared within it, the prime-minister being 'first' in name only.  This system is usually underpinned by collective responsibility - all the cabinet ministers are required to 'sing the same song' and support official government policy.
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What are the advantages of cabinet government?
- It encourages full and frank policy debate within the democracy of cabinet meetings, subjecting proposals to effective scrutiny.
- it guarantees the unity and cohesion of government since the cabinet makes decisions collectively and collectively stands by them.
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What are the critiques on cabinet government?
- It acts as a cloak for prime-ministerial power because it forces dissenting ministers to support agreed government policy in public.
- It means that government policy becomes incoherent and inconsistent, as decisions are based on compromises between competing minsters and departmental interests.
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What is a core executive?
A network of institutions and people who play key roles in the overall direction and coordination of government policy.
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