Prime Minister of Palmshire

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The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Palmshire is the Head of His Majesty's Government in the Palmshire. The Prime Minister and Cabinet (consisting of all the most senior ministers, who are government department heads) are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party or coalition and ultimately to the people of Palmshire. Prime Minister of Palmshire is equivalent to prime minister.

The current Prime Minister, Chris D, was appointed on 29 August 2012.

Authority

As the "Head of His Majesty's Government", the Prime Minister leads the Cabinet (the Executive). In addition, the Prime Minister leads a major political party or a coalition and generally commands a majority in the House of Lords (the sole house of the Legislature). As such, the incumbent wields both legislative and executive powers. Under the system, there is a unity of powers rather than separation.

In the House of Lords, the Prime Minister guides the law-making process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party or coalition. In an executive capacity, the Prime Minister appoints (and may dismiss) all other cabinet members and ministers, and co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, and the staff of the Civil Service. The Prime Minister also acts as the public "face" and "voice" of His Majesty's Government, both at home and abroad. Solely upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the Sovereign exercises many statutory and prerogative powers: they include the summoning and closing of Parliament; high judicial, political, and official appointments; and the conferral of peerages, knighthoods, decorations and other honors.

Powers and constraints

When commissioned by the Sovereign, a potential Prime Minister's first requisite is to "form a Government" – create a cabinet of ministry that has the support of the House of Lords, of which they are expected to be a member. The Prime Minister then formally accepts the appointment from his/her Sovereign, whose royal prerogative is thereafter exercised solely on the advice of the Prime Minister and His Majesty's Government ("HMG"). The Prime Minister has weekly audiences with the Sovereign, whose functions are constitutionally limited "to advise, to be consulted, and to warn"; the extent of the Sovereign's ability to influence the nature of the Prime Ministerial advice is unknown, but presumably varies depending upon the personal relationship between the Sovereign and the Prime Minister of the day.

The Prime Minister will appoint all other cabinet members (who then become active Privy Counselors) and ministers, although consulting senior ministers on their junior ministers, without any Parliamentary or other control or process over these powers. At any time, he/she may obtain the appointment, dismissal or nominal resignation of any other minister; he/she may resign, either purely personally or with his/her whole government; or obtain the dissolution of Parliament, precipitating the loss of all MPs' seats and salaries and a general election (Ministers will remain in power pending the election of the new House of Commons) for Prime Minister. The Prime Minister generally co-ordinates the policies and activities of the Cabinet and Government departments, acting as the main public "face" of His Majesty's Government.

Although the Commander-in-Chief of the Palmshire Armed Forces is legally the Sovereign, under constitutional practice the Prime Minister, with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whom he/she may appoint or dismiss, holds power over the deployment and disposition of Palmshire forces, and the declaration of war. The Prime Minister can authorize, but not directly order, the use of Palmshire's nuclear weapons and the Prime Minister is hence a Commander-in-Chief in all but name.

The Prime Minister makes all the most senior Crown appointments, and most others are made by Ministers over whom he has the power of appointment and dismissal. Privy Counselors, Ambassadors, senior civil servants, senior military officers, members of important committees and commissions, and other officials are selected, and in most cases may be removed, by the Prime Minister. The appointment of senior judges is constitutionally made on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Peerages, knighthoods, and other honors are bestowed by the Sovereign only on the advice of the Prime Minister.

However, even a government with a healthy majority can on occasion find itself unable to pass legislation.

Prime Minister whose government lost a House of Lords vote would be regarded as fatally weakened, and his whole government would resign, usually precipitating a general election for Prime Minister.

Likewise, a Prime Minister is not just "first amongst equals" in HM Government; although theoretically his/her Cabinet might still outvote him, in practice he/she progressively entrenches his position by retaining only personal supporters in the Cabinet. In periodical reshuffles, the Prime Minister can sideline and simply drop from Cabinet the Members who have fallen out of favor: they remain Privy Counselors, but the Prime Minister decides which of them are summoned to meetings. The Prime Minister is responsible for producing and enforcing the Ministerial Code.

Term of Office

How long Prime Minister can stay in office depends on retaining confidence of both the Sovereign and the Parliament. If confidence of either one is lost, the Prime Minister will then have two options to choose from: either to call election for Prime Minister to be decided by the members of Parliament or to resign the office.

In Parliament, Prime Minister can lose confidence if any of the following types of bills thus presented is defeated in the Parliament:

  • Supply (or budget) bill
  • Treaty
  • Any other bills considered by the Government to be a key measure