This post is handy for week 4 of POLU9UK https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/policymaking-in-the-uk/
A stark comparison between the ‘Westminster Model’ (WM) and Multi-level Governance (MLG) allows us to consider the difference between accountable government and the messy real world of policymaking. The WM may be used as an ideal-type to describe how power is centralized in the hands of a small number of elites:
- We rely on representative, not participatory, democracy.
- The plurality electoral system exaggerates the parliamentary majority of the biggest party and allows it to control Parliament.
- A politically neutral civil service acts according to ministerial wishes.
- The prime minister controls cabinet and ministers.
We may also identify an adversarial style of politics and a ‘winner takes all’ mentality which tends to exclude opposition parties. The government is responsible for the vast majority of public policy and it uses its governing majority, combined with a strong party ‘whip’ to make sure that its legislation is passed by Parliament…
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