Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 28 - 28 of 53

Question 28

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The cabinet in UK gets its life from the House of Commons and it has power to destroy its life giver. Explain.

Explanation

  • The power of dissolution of parliament lies into the hands of prime minister which has contributed to the growth of cabinet dictatorship. One of the conventions in England is that in case a ministry is defeated on the floor of the House of Commons, it need not resign immediately but instead the prime minister can request the king to dissolve the parliament who accedes to the requests and orders the dissolution.

  • This threat to get the parliament dissolved hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of the members of parliament. The dissolution of the house means fresh elections, extra expenditure to be incurred by the members if they decided to recon test and the likelihood of losing the seat.

  • No individual member therefore likes to take the risk of an election contest and consequently there is unflinching obedience to the dictates of the cabinet. Bagehot rightly remarked that the cabinet gets its life from the House of Commons but unlike other organisms it has power to destroy its life giver.

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