Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 47 - 47 of 53

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Question 47


Describe in Detail


Compare American Cabinet with British Cabinet.


  • The similarities between the two Cabinets lies in the fact that both are of extra constitutional growth. In other words, they are the outcome of the conventions. In Great Britain, where parliamentary Government prevails, the Cabinet constitutes the real Government. It is mostly taken out of the lower House. A few members of the House of Lords also are included, but all of them are responsible to the House of Commons.
  • In the USA, on the other hand, the presidential type of government exists. As such, the President or his advisers are neither drawn from the legislature nor are they responsible to the latter. They neither initiate legislation in the congress nor speak on the floor of congress. This is unlike that of the UK where the members of the cabinet sponsor legislative measures and pilot them through the Houses.
  • Secondly, political homogeneity is a cardinal feature of the British cabinet. In case of a coalition also, a homogenous team is constituted. The American Cabinet on the other hand, may consist of heterogeneous elements drawn from different parties. Even non-party members may be included in the Cabinet.
  • Thirdly, the British Cabinet follows the principle of collective responsibility, i.e.. , ‘all for one and one for all’ principle. The American cabinet lacks this characteristic. The cabinet consists of the heads of the departments who run the errands of the President and are responsible to him. If anyone is ousted by the President, the rest of the members remain silent spectators to his political misfortune.

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