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AS Government and Politics: The
Transcript of AS Government and Politics: The
Key Question 1: What is the role of the Prime Minister and Cabinet?
Key Question 2: How powerful is the Prime Minister?
What are the different types of government?
Know - The different forms of government.
Understand - The role of the British Prime Minister.
Skills - Debate, group work, knowledge and understanding.
Connects the different post 1945 PMs with their party and period in power.
Explains the role of the PM in the UK executive.
STARTER: PM Timeline
Work as a class to create a timeline of the UK's post 1945 Prime Ministers.
Connect the following:
TASK: Government Types Card Sort
Colour-code the information into features of either:
a) majority government.
b) minority government.
c) coalition government.
2. In your opinion which is the
form of government? Explain your answer using evidence and by comparing the 3 types. Think about carrying out the functions of government - represent, carry out agenda etc.
3. Independent research - Do some research into British political history - Find a government which had a large majority and one which was in minority. Find out:
* The make-up of Parliament.
* Problems/successes they had.
Suggestions - Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and the Coalition
What is the role of the Prime Minister?
Know - Key responsibilities of the Prime Minister.
Understand - The sources of the Prime Minister's authority.
Skills - Chronology, knowledge, understanding and exam practice.
Identifies the chronology of the government sine 1945.
Explains the role of the prime minister and the sources of their authority.
TASK: PM Roles
Using pp. 254-256:
1. Make notes on the PM's six key roles.
2. Which role gives the PM the most power and why?
3. For each role identify a potential limit on the PM being able to carry it out effectively.
TASK: Sources of PM Authority.
Using pp.257-258 answer the following:
"Analyse the reasons why UK prime ministers have so much authority." (25 marks)
Steps to success:
1. Introduce by explaining the meaning of the term "authority".
2. Identify and explain four sources of prime ministerial authority.
3. Explain the links between these sources and prime ministerial power.
How much power do prime ministers have?
Does the office of the prime minister have too much authority?
What does authority mean?
How do you get it?
How do you keep it?
Analyses the sources of prime ministerial authority.
Does PM power depend on the political environment??
Know - Key limitations on Prime Ministerial power.
Understand - The extent to which Prime Ministerial Power is dependent on the political environment.
Skills - Knowledge, understanding and debate.
TASK: Has PM power changed since 1997?
Read the article and answer the questions on the sheet.
TASK: The Big Debate
This house believes that the coalition government weakened PM power.
Explains the limitations on Prime Ministerial power.
Evaluates the limitations on Prime Ministerial power.
Debates the effect of coalition government on Prime Ministerial power.
What makes a successful debater?
Think on Your Feet.
Respond to points made - jot them down to help you remember.
Concede some points - choose your battles wisely.
Make your most important points first before moving on to the more difficult points.
Predict the other side's argument.
- 3 minutes for each side. At least 3 of you must speak during this part. Make sure your main points are stated first and then move on to less important points. Ask some questions of the other side. You may try to preempt what you anticipate the other group will say.
Right of Reply
- An opportunity to reply to the opening statement - You must answer any questions asked and pose supplementary ones to the other side. You can concede points but use it to your advantage - Is the point they are making not the most important?
- An opportunity to ask two further questions which you want answered - Choose them carefully!!
- One person from each group sums up the the argument they have made.
The Pathway to Debating Success
Groups of 4/5.
Prepare your argument carefully - You need to make an opening statement 3 minutes long to support your case.
Prepare responses to potential questions you think may be asked of you by the other side.
Think of some probing questions you want to ask the other side - REMEMBER YOU NEED TO CONVINCE - think about the language and the evidence you use.
What are the functions of the Cabinet?
Know - Key functions of the Cabinet.
Understand - What factor influence their ability to carry these out.
Skills - Knowledge, understanding and debate.
STARTER: Who's who?
Match the photograph with:
a) the name and position;
b) the party they are from.
TASK: Cabinet Functions
Is a strong Cabinet good for Britain?
Identifies different members of the UK Cabinet.
Assesses what conditions impact on the role of the UK Cabinet.
Explains the functions of the UK Cabinet.
1. Outline each of the key functions of Cabinet.
2. How far has coalition changed the role of the Cabinet?
3. What does collective Cabinet responsibility mean?
4. Create a living graph from 1945-Present outlining how the power of the Cabinet has changed over time.
5. Explain your graph in your own words.
How far has the Cabinet changed over time?
Know - The history of the Cabinet.
Understand - The extent that the power of the Cabinet has declined.
Skills - Knowledge, understanding, gathering evidence, debate.
TASK: Cabinet Carousel
Around the room are different historical Cabinets from since 1945. Use the information on the sheets to complete your capture sheet.
"The Prime Minister is a medieval monarch living in No 10.”
TASK: The power of the cabinet is in permanent decline. Discuss.
Introduction - Outline the debate.
First Paragraph - Evidence for.
Second Paragraph - Evidence Against.
* Point, Evidence, Explain.
* Key terminology - presidentialism, cabinet government, prime-minsterial government, sofa politics etc.
Identifies the functions of the Cabinet.
Explains changes in the power of the Cabinet over time.
Evaluates whether the power of the Cabinet is in permanent decline.
How strong is the doctrine of individual ministerial responsibility?
Know - What individual ministerial responsibility is.
Understand - The extent to which the concept of individual ministerial responsibility holds firm.
Skills - Self evaluation, knowledge, understanding, collecting evidence and debate.
TASK: Disgraced Minister Meet and Greet
You are all disgraced Ministers. You are meeting in the political dustbin to discuss the reasons for your fall from grace. You must collect the reasons for the scandal, the category of scandal and whether they survived or not.
Ministers should be ultimately responsible for any discrepancies which take place in their department.
Acts on improvement advice for a 20 mark question.
Categorises evidence on individual ministerial responsibility.
Assesses the extent that individual ministerial responsibility holds firm.
1. What trends emerge from the evidence?
2. How far does the doctrine of ministerial responsibility hold true?
Do ministers matter?
Know - Key differences between civil servants and ministers.
Understand - The extent that ministers matter in modern Britain.
Skills - Knowledge, understanding and categorising evidence.
TASK: Ministerial Matters
Read the article and answer the questions.
TASK: Ministers or Civil Servants?
Categorise the following into features of civil servants and features of ministers:
1) Are temporary.
2) Suggest alternatives in neutral way.
3) Will remain in position even if there is a change of government.
4) Have a high profile.
5) Use judgments about the outcome of decisions.
6) Expected to be anonymous.
7) Cannot be held publicly accountable.
8) Are publicly accountable for the performance of their department.
9) Are permanent.
10) Draft legislation.
11) Lose office if government lose power.
12) Cannot be publicly held to account.
13) Expected to make political decisions.
14) Identify possible outcomes in a neutral way.
15) Draft answers to parliamentary questions.
16) Set the political agenda.
17) Decide between policy alternatives.
18) Provide briefings for other ministers.
19) Are accountable to Parliament for their actions.
20) Advise on implementation methods.
21) Account to parliament for the performance of their department.
22) Steer proposals through parliament.
23) Organise the implementation of policy.
24) Gather information for policy making.
25) Provide alternative courses of action.
26) Advise on consequences of decisions.
27) Obtain cabinet and government approval for policies.
Categorises features of civil servants and ministers.
Evaluates whether ministers still matter.
Do ministers still matter?
To what extent is the fate of a PM linked to the performance of their ministers?
The cabinet has been undermined in modern politics.
TASK Cabinet Role-Play
You are the UK Cabinet conducting an emergency meeting on how to deal with the threat from Islamic State. You must design a plan of action through discussion. Failure to reach agreement could see the government collapse.
This house believes that the Prime Minister is now a President in all but name.
Should the UK adopt a presidential system of government?
Power can be defined as the ability of a person or a group to influence the beliefs and actions of other people, and to influence or control actions or events. Power is the possession or the ability or the right to control the actions and performances of others either by authority or by other means.
Authority is the right given to a person or a post to achieve particular objectives. It is the right to get things done by others, to take decisions and give orders and get obedience from them. It comes from the duties and responsibilities awarded to a position holder in any official structure.Source: http://theydiffer.com/difference-between-power-and-authority/
The case of Charles Clarke (Home Secretary in Tony Blair's Government
Clarke was challenged by opposition MPs in April 2006 over the inability of the Home Office to account for the movements of more than a thousand foreign prisoners after they had served their sentences in the UK. It appeared that they had been freed without being considered for deportation. Clarke admitted that his department had taken its ‘eye off the ball’ but also told the BBC that ‘I certainly don’t think Ihave a duty to the public to go – I have a duty to sort this out.’ It was reported that he did in
fact privately offer to resign but initially the Prime Minister backed him to continue in office.
Ten days later, however, with the affair showing no signs of abating, Blair sacked Clarke as part
of a wider Cabinet reshuffle, following poor results for the Labour Party in the local elections.
Demonstrates how individual ministerial responsibility depends on the circumstances at the time.