How does the UK Prime Minister just get booted from office? It appears much harder to be booted from office in the U.S.


How does the UK Prime Minister just get booted from office? It appears much harder to be booted from office in the U.S.

In: Other

The prime minister is elected to the position by the other elected ministers; the US President is elected to the office by the electoral college on behalf of the entire voting public.

In the UK, the party is elected rather than the Prime Minister specifically. So in America, it would be like the Republican Party was voted into power in 2016, not Trump himself, and so the GOP could remove Trump and replace him with someone else if they wanted to.

In the United States, the President is elected by the Electoral College for a fixed term and can only be removed from office for specific reasons. In parliamentary systems, a prime minister is a member of parliament chosen by other members of parliament to be PM only as long as they want that person there (or they lose an election). Those members can, at any time, decide they want a different person from among them to become the PM. In that respect, it’s more similar to the Speaker of the House in the U.S. The speaker is a member of the majority party selected by members of that party. For example, the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, could be replaced at any time by house democrats if they decide. They would simply hold a vote for new speaker just like they did when they elected her speaker in the first place.

Most of the time, in the US the role an official is written down in laws or the constitution.
The Office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom does not actually exist in any written down law or document.
It’s all just a series of traditions that makes that particular Member of Parliament more important.
The average UK citizen does not vote someone to be Prime Minister, the vote on the candidate (usually put in a very safe seat), and the party chooses.

Since the Prime Minister does not have any laws giving them special powers over a normal member of parliament, if the party decides they don’t want the Prime Minister to be Prime Minister anymore, there’s nothing they can do to stop it.
Mostly they just resign and save themselves some embarrassment.

In Britain, the executive and legislative branches of government are kind of fused into one. The Prime Minister (who is the head of government) is a member of Parliament (the legislature) and can only stay in office so long as they maintain the support of a majority of its members; in other words, the Prime Minister and her Government must always have the ‘confidence’ of Parliament. As of right now, Theresa May is the PM because her Conservative party plus the support of a small regional party from Northern Ireland (the DUP) is enough for a majority.

If, however, she can no longer form a majority, she cannot stay in office. This could happen a few ways:
– there could be a formal “vote of no confidence” in which a majority of MPs vote against her in Parliament; this could cause a new election
– MPs from her own party could decide on their own that they need a new leader and replace her with someone else, who would then become Prime Minister themselves; in fact they’ve already tried that in the past year
– she might do the math herself and, realizing that there’s no way for her to maintain enough support to stay in office and thus leave on her own, allowing her party to choose someone new to lead the party and, since they + DUP are a majority in Parliament, that new leader would become Prime Minister.

America, on the other hand, elects its executive (the President) separately from its legislature (Congress). There exist Constitutional measures for elected officials to be removed from office; Congress can impeach and convict a President or expel one of its own members, for example. This, however, is much less common because of the independence of the two branches.