Stretched but not snapped: constitutional lessons from the 2010 coalition government in Britain
Barber, S (2014). Stretched but not snapped: constitutional lessons from the 2010 coalition government in Britain. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. 52 (4), pp. 473-492.
© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Taking as its point of departure Matthews' (2011) ‘Constitutional stretching: Coalition governance and the Westminster model (Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 49(4), 486–509), this article draws on the experience of coalition government in Westminster to review, categorise and consider how power sharing has necessitated a rethink of what is the British constitution. Defining constitutional stretching as being about the sustained operation of two-party government within the Westminster model, it shows that traditional practices around manifestos, collective responsibility and the prerogative have been adjusted since 2010 in order to facilitate functioning administration. The article observes that some stretching is not entirely novel with precedents to be found in earlier single party administrations. It further argues that while conventions have been strained, the Cameron/Clegg government survived, suggesting a need to adjust our understanding of constitutional concepts. Given the likelihood of future hung parliaments, this could mean more permanent constitutional change and the article makes some modest suggestions for updating guidance.
|Keywords||1606 Political Science; Political Science & Public Administration|
|Journal||Commonwealth and Comparative Politics|
|Journal citation||52 (4), pp. 473-492|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/14662043.2014.959287|
|27 Oct 2014|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||30 Oct 2018|
|Accepted||18 Sep 2014|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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