Coalition government

A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which multiple political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that "coalition". The usual reason for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament. A coalition government might also be created in a time of nationals difficulty or crisis (for example, during wartime or economic crisis) to give a government the high degree of perceived political legitimacy or collective identity it desires while also playing a role in diminishing internal political strife. In such times, parties have formed all-party coalitions (national unity governments, grand coalitions). If a coalition collapses, a confidence vote is held or a motion of no confidence is taken.

Practice

When a general election does not produce a clear majority for a single party, parties either form coalition cabinets, supported by a parliamentary majority, or minority cabinets which may consist of one or more parties. Cabinets based on a group of parties that command a majority in parliament tend to be more stable and long-lived than minority cabinets. While the former are prone to internal struggles, they have less reason to fear votes of no confidence. Majority governments based on a single party are typically even more stable, as long as their majority can be maintained.

Distribution

Countries which often operate with coalition cabinets include: the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Australia, Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and Ukraine. Switzerland has been ruled by a coalition of the four strongest parties in parliament from 1959 to 2008, called the "Magic Formula". Between 2010 and 2015, the United Kingdom also operated a formal coalition between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat parties, but this was unusual: the UK usually has a single-party majority government.

Coalitions composed of few parties

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, coalition governments (sometimes known as "national governments") usually have only been formed at times of national crisis. The most prominent was the National Government of 1931 to 1940. There were multi-party coalitions during both world wars. Apart from this, when no party has had a majority, minority governments normally have been formed with one or more opposition parties agreeing to vote in favour of the legislation which governments need to function: for instance the Labour government of James Callaghan came to an agreement with the Liberals in 1977 when it lost the narrow majority it had gained in the October 1974 election. However, in the run-up to the 1997 general election, Labour opposition leader Tony Blair was in talks with Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown about forming a coalition government if Labour failed to win a majority at the election; but there proved to be no need for a coalition as Labour won the election by a landslide.[1] The 2010 general election resulted in a hung parliament (Britain's first for 36 years), and the Conservatives, led by David Cameron, which had won the largest number of seats, formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats in order to gain a parliamentary majority, ending 13 years of Labour government. This was the first time that the Conservatives and Lib Dems had made a power-sharing deal at Westminster.[2] It was also the first full coalition in Britain since 1945, having been formed 70 years virtually to the day after the establishment of Winston Churchill's wartime coalition,[3] although there had been a "Lib-Lab pact", an agreement stopping well short of a coalition, between the Labour and Liberal parties, from March 1977 until July 1978, after a series of by-election defeats had eroded Labour's majority of three seats which had been gained at the October 1974 election. Labour and The Liberal Democrats entered into Coalition three times in The Scottish Parliament and Twice in the Welsh Assembly. The 2016 Welsh Government is also a Coalition with The Liberal Democrats and Labour with Kirsty Williams AM taking the Education Portfolio.

The 2017 General Election resulted in a confidence and supply arrangement between The Conservative Party and The Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party, short of an official coalition as the Unionists hold no ministerial positions.

Germany

Greens in Government G-States
The G-states across Germany

In Germany, for instance, coalition government is the norm, as it is rare for either the Christian Democratic Union of Germany together with their partners the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU), or the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), to win an unqualified majority in a national election. Thus, at the federal level, governments are formed with at least two parties. For example, Helmut Kohl's CDU governed for years in coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP); from 1998 to 2005 Gerhard Schröder's SPD was in power with the Greens; and from 2009 Angela Merkel, CDU/CSU was in power with the FDP.

"Grand coalitions" of the two large parties also occur, but these are relatively rare, as large parties usually prefer to associate with small ones. However, if none of the larger parties can receive enough votes to form their preferred coalition, a grand coalition might be their only choice for forming a government. This was the situation in Germany in 2005 when Angela Merkel became Chancellor: in early elections, the CDU/CSU did not garner enough votes to form a majority coalition with the FDP; similarly the SPD and Greens did not have enough votes to continue with their formerly ruling coalition. A grand coalition government was subsequently forged between the CDU/CSU and the SPD. Partnerships like these typically involve carefully structured cabinets. The CDU/CSU ended up holding the Chancellery while the SPD took the majority of cabinet posts. Parties frequently make statements ahead of elections which coalitions they categorically reject, similar to election promises or shadow cabinets in other countries.

In Germany, coalitions rarely consist of more than two parties (CDU and CSU, two allies which always form a single caucus, are in this regard considered a single party). However, in the 2010s coalitions on the state level increasingly included three different parties, often FDP, Greens and one of the major parties or "red red green" coalitions of SPD, Linkspartei and Greens. By 2016, the Greens have joined governments on the state level in eleven coalitions in seven various constellations.[4]

Examples of coalitions

Australia

In federal Australian politics, the conservative Liberal, National, Country Liberal and Liberal National parties are united in a coalition, known simply as the Coalition. The Coalition has become so stable, at least at the federal level, that in practice the lower house of Parliament has become a two-party house, with the Coalition and the Labor Party being the major parties. This coalition is also found in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. In South Australia and Western Australia the Liberal and National parties compete separately, while in the Northern Territory and Queensland the two parties have merged, forming the Country Liberal Party, in 1978, and the Liberal National Party, in 2008, respectively.

The other federal coalition has been:

Belgium

In Belgium, where there are separate Dutch-speaking and French-speaking parties for each political grouping, coalition cabinets of up to six parties are common.

Canada

In Canada, the Great Coalition was formed in 1864 by the Clear Grits, Parti bleu, and Liberal-Conservative Party. During the First World War, Prime Minister Robert Borden attempted to form a coalition with the opposition Liberals to broaden support for controversial conscription legislation. The Liberal Party refused the offer but some of their members did cross the floor and join the government. Although sometimes referred to as a coalition government, according to the definition above, it was not. It was disbanded after the end of the war.[5]

As a result of the 1919 Ontario election, the United Farmers of Ontario and the Labour Party, together with three independent MLAs, formed a coalition that governed Ontario until 1923.

In British Columbia, the governing Liberals formed a coalition with the opposition Conservatives in order to prevent the surging, left-wing Cooperative Commonwealth Federation from taking power in the British Columbia general election, 1941. Liberal premier Duff Pattullo refused to form a coalition with the third-place Conservatives, so his party removed him. The Liberal–Conservative coalition introduced a winner-take-all preferential voting system (the "Alternative Vote") in the hopes that their supporters would rank the other party as their second preference; however, this strategy did not take CCF second preferences into account. In the British Columbia general election, 1952, to the surprise of many, the right-wing populist BC Social Credit Party won a minority. They were able to win a majority in the subsequent election as Liberal and Conservative supporters shifted their anti-CCF vote to Social Credit.

Manitoba has had more formal coalition governments than any other province. Following gains by the United Farmer's/Progressive movement elsewhere in the country, the United Farmers of Manitoba unexpectedly won the 1921 election. Like their counterparts in Ontario, they had not expected to win and did not have a leader. They asked John Bracken, a professor in animal husbandry, to become leader and premier. Bracken changed the party's name to the Progressive Party of Manitoba. During the Great Depression, Bracken survived at a time when other premiers were being defeated by forming a coalition government with the Manitoba Liberals (eventually, the two parties would merge into the Liberal-Progressive Party of Manitoba, and decades later, the party would change its name to the Manitoba Liberal Party). In 1940, Bracken formed a wartime coalition government with almost every party in the Manitoba Legislature (the Conservatives, CCF, and Social Credit; however, the CCF broke with the coalition after a few years over policy differences). The only party not included was the small, communist Labor-Progressive Party, which had a handful of seats.

In Saskatchewan, NDP premier Roy Romanow formed a formal coalition with the Saskatchewan Liberals in 1999 after being reduced to a minority. After two years, the newly elected Liberal leader Jim Melanchuk chose to withdraw from the coalition; however, 2 out of 3 members of his caucus disagreed with him and left the Liberals to run as New Democrats in the upcoming election. The Saskatchewan NDP was re-elected with a majority under its new leader Lorne Calvert, while the Saskatchewan Liberals lost their remaining seats and have not been competitive in the province since.

According to historian Christopher Moore, coalition governments in Canada became much less possible in 1919, when the leaders of parties were no longer chosen by elected MPs but instead began to be chosen by party members. That kind of leadership selection process had never been tried in any parliament system before and remains uncommon in the parliaments of the world today. According to Moore, as long as that kind of leadership selection process remains in place and concentrates power in the hands of the leader, as opposed to backbenchers, then coalition governments will be very difficult to form. Moore shows that the diffusion of power within a party tends to also lead to a diffusion of power in the parliament in which that party operates, thereby making coalitions more likely.[6]

During the 2008–09 Canadian parliamentary dispute, two of Canada's opposition parties signed an agreement to form what would become the country's second coalition government since Confederation if the minority Conservative government was defeated on a vote of non-confidence,[7] unseating Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. The agreement outlined a formal coalition consisting of two opposition parties, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. The Bloc Québécois agreed to support the proposed coalition on confidence matters for 18 months. In the end, parliament was prorogued by the Governor General, and the coalition dispersed before parliament was reconvened.

Denmark

In Denmark, all governments from 1982 until the June 2015 elections have been coalitions. The first coalition in Danish political history was formed in 1929 by Thorvald Stauning and consisted of the Social Democrats (Staunings own party) and the Social Liberals. Since then, a number of parties have participated in coalitions.

Excluding the post-WW2 Liberation Cabinet's member parties, the following parties have done so: The Centre Democrats, the Christian People's Party, the Conservative People's Party, the Justice Party, the Social Democrats, the Socialist People's Party, the Social Liberal Party, and Venstre.

Finland

In Finland, no party has had an absolute majority in the parliament since independence, and multi-party coalitions have been the norm. Finland experienced its most stable government (Lipponen I and II) since independence with a five-party governing coalition, a so-called "rainbow government". The Lipponen cabinets set the stability record and were unusual in the respect that both moderate (SDP) and radical left wing (Left Alliance) parties sat in the government with the major right-wing party (National Coalition). The Katainen cabinet was also a rainbow coalition of a total of five parties.

India

Since India's Independence on 15 August 1947, Indian National Congress, the major political party instrumental in Indian independence movement, ruled the nation. The first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, second PM Lal Bahadur Shastri and the third PM Indira Gandhi, all were from the Congress party. However, Raj Narain, who had unsuccessfully contested election against Indira from the constituency of Rae Bareilly in 1971, lodged a case, alleging electoral malpractices. In June 1975, Indira was found guilty and barred by High Court from holding public office for six years. In response, an ungracious Emergency was declared under the pretext of national security. The next election's result was that India's first-ever coalition government was formed at the national level under the Prime Ministership of Morarji Desai, which was also the first non-Congress national government, which existed from 24 March 1977 to 15 July 1979, headed by the Janata Party,[8] an amalgam of political parties opposed to Emergency imposed between 1975 and 1977. As the popularity of Janata Party dwindled, Morarji Desai had to resign and Charan Singh, a rival of Desai became the fifth PM. However, due to lack of support, this coalition government did not complete its five-year term.

Congress returned to the power in 1980 under Indira Gandhi, and later under Rajiv Gandhi as the 6th PM. However, the next general election of 1989 once again brought a coalition government under National Front, which lasted until 1991, with two Prime Ministers, the second one being supported by Congress. The 1991 election resulted in a Congress led stable minority government for five years. The next 11th parliament produced three Prime Ministers in two years and forced the country back to the polls in 1998. The first successful coalition government in India which completed the whole 5-year term was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM from 1999 to 2004. Then another coalition, Congress led United Progressive Alliance, consisting of 13 separate parties ruled India for two terms from 2004 to 2014 with Manmohan Singh as PM. However, in the 16th general election in May 2014, BJP secured majority on its own (first party to do so since 1984 election) and National Democratic Alliance again came into power, with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and more.

Indonesia

As a result of the toppling of Suharto, political freedom is significantly increased. Compared to only three parties allowed to exist in the New Order era, a total of 48 political parties participated in the 1999 election, a total of 24 parties in the 2004 election, 38 parties in the 2009 election, and 15 parties in the 2014 election. There are no majority winner of those elections and coalition governments are inevitable. The current government is a coalition of seven parties led by the PDIP and Golkar.

Ireland

In Republic of Ireland, coalition governments are quite common; not since 1977 has a single party been able to form a majority government. Coalitions are the typically formed of two or more parties always consisting of one of the two biggest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one or more smaller parties or independent members of parliament. The current government consists of a minority Fine Gael government, supported by a confidence and supply arrangement with Fianna Fáil.

Ireland's first coalition government was formed in 1948. Ireland has had consecutive coalition governments since the 1989 general election, excluding two brief Fianna Fáil minority administrations in 1994 and 2011 that followed the withdrawal of their coalition partners from government. Before 1989, Fianna Fáil had opposed participation in coalition governments, preferring single-party minority government instead.

Irish coalition governments have traditionally been based on one of two large blocs in Dáil Éireann: either Fianna Fáil in coalition with smaller parties or independents, or Fine Gael and the Labour Party in coalition, sometimes with smaller parties. The only exception to these traditional alliances was the 23rd Government of Ireland, comprising Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, which ruled between 1993 and 1994. The Government of the 31st Dáil, though a traditional Fine Gael–Labour coalition, resembles a grand coalition, due to the collapse of the Fianna Fáil to third place among parties in Dáil Éireann.

Israel

A similar situation exists in Israel, which typically has at least 10 parties holding representation in the Knesset. The only faction to ever gain the majority of Knesset seats was Alignment, an alliance of the Labor Party and Mapam that held an absolute majority for a brief period from 1968 to 1969. Historically, control of the Israeli government has alternated between periods of rule by the right-wing Likud in coalition with several right-wing and religious parties and periods of rule by the center-left Labor in coalition with several left-wing parties. Ariel Sharon's formation of the centrist Kadima party in 2006 drew support from former Labor and Likud members, and Kadima ruled in coalition with several other parties.

Israel also formed a national unity government from 1984–1988. The premiership and foreign ministry portfolio were held by the head of each party for two years, and they switched roles in 1986.

Japan

Post-World War II Japan has historically been dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party, but there was a brief coalition government formed after the 1993 election following LDP's first loss of its overall House of Representatives majority since 1955, winning only 223 out of 511 seats. The LDP government was replaced by an eight-party coalition government, which consisted of all of the previous opposition parties excluding the Japanese Communist Party, who together controlled 243 seats. Every Japanese government since then has been a coalition government in one way or another.

New Zealand

MMP was introduced in New Zealand in the 1996 election. In order to get into parliament, parties need to get a total of 50% of the 121 seats in parliament – 61. Since no parties have ever gotten a full majority, they must form coalitions with other parties. For example, in 2017, Labour got 46 seats, New Zealand First got nine, and the Green Party got eight, which adds up to a total of 63 seats.

Criticism

Advocates of proportional representation suggest that a coalition government leads to more consensus-based politics, as a government comprising differing parties (often based on different ideologies) need to compromise about governmental policy. Another stated advantage is that a coalition government better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.[6]

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such governments have a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony, as their component parties hold differing beliefs and thus may not always agree on policy.[9] Sometimes the results of an election mean that the coalitions which are mathematically most probable are ideologically infeasible, for example in Flanders or Northern Ireland. A second difficulty might be the ability of minor parties to play "kingmaker" and, particularly in close elections, gain far more power in exchange for their support than the size of their vote would otherwise justify.

Coalition governments have also been criticized for sustaining a consensus on issues when disagreement and the consequent discussion would be more fruitful. To forge a consensus, the leaders of ruling coalition parties can agree to silence their disagreements on an issue to unify the coalition against the opposition. The coalition partners, if they control the parliamentary majority, can collude to make the parliamentary discussion on the issue irrelevant by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition's proposals — even if there is disagreement within the ruling parties about the issue.

Powerful parties can also act in an oligocratic way to form an alliance to stifle the growth of emerging parties. Of course, such an event is rare in coalition governments when compared to two-party systems, which typically exist because of stifling of the growth of emerging parties, often through discriminatory nomination rules regulations and plurality voting systems, and so on.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they would have to vote against their own party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive power. However, this is contradicted by the "kingmaker" factor mentioned above.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Making Minority Government Work:Hung Parliaments and the Challenges for Westminster and Whitehall" (PDF). 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  2. ^ "Tories and Lib Dems enter full coalition government". The New Statesman.
  3. ^ Churchill became Prime Minister on 10 May 1940, David Cameron on 11 May 2010. Churchill formed his War Cabinet on 11 May: Winston S. Churchill (1949) Their Finest Hour.
  4. ^ Jungjohann, Arne (2017). German Greens in Coalition Governments. A Political Analysis (PDF). Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and Green European Foundation. p. 19.
  5. ^ "Coalition Government: Precedents from around the world". CBC News. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  6. ^ a b Moore, Christopher (2011). "Come together". Canada's History (June–July 2011): 53–54.
  7. ^ Menon, Nirmala (2008-12-02). "Coalition Set To Topple Canada PM". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
  8. ^ Kuldip Singh (1995-04-11). "OBITUARY: Morarji Desai". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
  9. ^ Moury, Catherine; Timmermans, Arco (25 July 2013). "Inter-party conflict management in coalition governments: Analyzing the role of coalition agreements in Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands". Politics and Governance. 1 (2): 117–131. doi:10.17645/pag.v1i2.94. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
1918 United Kingdom general election

The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was held on Saturday 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government. These were nicknamed "Coalition Coupons", and led to the election being known as the "coupon election". The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising primarily the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed. Nearly all the Liberal M.P.s without coupons were defeated, although party leader H.H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election. It was the first general election to include on a single day all eligible voters of the United Kingdom, although the vote count was delayed until 28 December so that the ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included in the tallies.It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916. They were both Liberals and continued to battle for control of the party, which was fast losing popular support and never regained power.It was the first general election to be held after enactment of the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was thus the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and many poor men had been excluded from voting. Women showed enormous patriotism, and generally supported the coalition candidates.The election was also noted for the dramatic result in Ireland, which showed clear disapproval of government policy. The Irish Parliamentary Party were almost completely wiped out by the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, who vowed in their manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic. They refused to take their seats in Westminster, instead forming a breakaway government and declaring Irish independence. The Irish War of Independence began soon after the election.

26th government of Turkey

The 26th government of Turkey (20 November 1961 – 25 June 1962), also known as the first coalition government of Turkey and the eight government of İsmet İnönü, was the first civilian government following the 1960 Turkish coup d'état. The prime minister, İsmet İnönü, was the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and a former president of Turkey. The CHP was joined in coalition by the Justice Party (AP).

Aberdeen ministry

After the collapse of Lord Derby's minority government, the Whigs and Peelites formed a coalition under the Peelite leader Lord Aberdeen. The government resigned in early 1855 after a large parliamentary majority voted for a select committee to enquire into the incompetent management of the Crimean War. The former Home Secretary, Lord Palmerston, then formed his first government.

Asquith coalition ministry

Prime Minister H. H. Asquith formed a wartime coalition government in May 1915. The change of ministry resulted from intense attacks on the Liberal government claiming it had badly mishandled the war effort, especially regarding the Gallipoli Campaign against Constantinople and the Shell Crisis regarding shortage of ammunition on the Western Front.

The new Cabinet included nine Conservatives and one Labour minister, but the Liberals continued to hold most of the important posts; the Conservatives had demanded cabinet seats, but they only received lesser positions. Not at all satisfied, Conservative leader Bonar Law continued the verbal attacks.

The ministry collapsed on 5 December 1916 as a result of Conservative resignations, who refused to serve any longer under Asquith. Asquith and most of the Liberals then moved into opposition, while the Conservatives formed a new coalition with a minority of Liberals, under the leadership of Liberal David Lloyd George, the next day.

Cameron–Clegg coalition

David Cameron and Nick Clegg formed the Cameron–Clegg coalition, after the former was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government, following the resignation of Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 11 May 2010. It was the first coalition government in the UK since the Churchill war ministry and was led by Cameron with Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister, composed of members of both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats.

The Cabinet was made up of sixteen Conservatives and five Liberal Democrats, with eight other Conservatives and one other Liberal Democrat attending cabinet but not members. The coalition was succeeded by the single-party Cameron ministry after the 2015 general election.

Churchill war ministry

The Churchill war ministry was a Conservative-led coalition government in the United Kingdom that lasted for most of the Second World War. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed by King George VI as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Formed in 1940 in the aftermath of the Norway Debate and within a year of declaring war on Nazi Germany, it persisted until May 1945, when Churchill resigned and an election was called.The war ministry was followed by the Churchill caretaker ministry which in turn lasted until 26 July 1945 when the results of the general election brought Labour into government, led by Clement Attlee.

Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea

The Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK; Khmer: រដ្ឋាភិបាលចំរុះកម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ, Odthaphibeal Chamrouh Kampouchea Brachathibtey), renamed to the National Government of Cambodia (NGC; រដ្ឋាភិបាលជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា, Rodthaphibeal Cheate nei Kampouchea) from 1990, was a coalition government in exile composed of three Cambodian political factions, namely Prince Norodom Sihanouk's FUNCINPEC party, the Party of Democratic Kampuchea (PDK; often referred to as the Khmer Rouge) and the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF) formed in 1982, broadening the de facto deposed Democratic Kampuchea regime. For most of its existence, it was the internationally recognized government of Cambodia.

Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (DPM) is a senior member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who may appoint to other offices – such as First Secretary of State – to give seniority to a particular cabinet minister. Due to the two offices tending not to coincide, and both representing the Prime Minister's deputy, journalists will often refer to the First Secretary of State as the Deputy PM. More recently, the functions of this office have been exercised by the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Unlike analogous offices in some other nations, such as the Vice President of the United States or the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland (or Tánaiste), the British deputy prime minister possesses no special constitutional powers as such, though he or she will always have particular responsibilities in government. The DPM does not assume the duties and powers of the Prime Minister in the latter's absence, illness, or death, such as the powers to seek a dissolution of Parliament, appoint peers or brief the sovereign.

The Deputy Prime Minister does not automatically succeed the Prime Minister when the latter is incapacitated, or resigns from the leadership of his or her party. The designation of someone to the role of Deputy Prime Minister may provide additional practical status within the cabinet, enabling exercise of de facto, if not de jure, power.

In a coalition government, such as the 2010–2015 coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the appointment of the leader of the smaller party (in the 2010 case, Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats) as Deputy Prime Minister is done to give that person more authority within the Cabinet to enforce the coalition's agreed-upon agenda. The Deputy Prime Minister usually deputises for the Prime Minister at official functions, such as Prime Minister's Questions.

Fine Gael

Fine Gael ( FEE-nə GAYL; English: Family or Tribe of the Irish) is a centre-right liberal-conservative and Christian democratic political party in Ireland. Fine Gael is currently the governing and largest party in Ireland in terms of members of the Oireachtas and Irish members of European Parliament. The party has a membership of 35,000, and is the senior partner governing in a minority coalition with several independent politicians, with party leader Leo Varadkar serving as Taoiseach. Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny as party leader on 2 June 2017 and as Taoiseach on 14 June; Kenny had been leader since 2002, and Taoiseach since 2011.Fine Gael was founded on 8 September 1933 following the merger of its parent party Cumann na nGaedheal, the National Centre Party and the National Guard (popularly known as the "Blueshirts", a name still used colloquially to refer to the party). Its origins lie in the struggle for Irish independence and the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War and Michael Collins, in particular, is often identified as the founder of the movement.Fine Gael is generally considered to be more of a proponent of market liberalism than its traditional rival, Fianna Fáil. However, apart from brief minority governments (as in 1987), Fine Gael has rarely governed Ireland without a coalition that also included the Labour Party, a social-democratic, centre-left party. Fine Gael describes itself as a "party of the progressive centre" which it defines as acting "in a way that is right for Ireland, regardless of dogma or ideology". It lists its core values as "equality of opportunity, free enterprise and reward, security, integrity and hope." It is strongly in favour of the European Union and opposed to physical force Irish republicanism. The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael, was formed in 1977, and has approximately four thousand members. Fine Gael is a founding member of the European People's Party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen III Cabinet

The Third Cabinet of Lars Løkke Rasmussen took office on 28 November 2016, and succeeded the Second Cabinet of Lars Løkke Rasmussen. It is a minority coalition government consisting of Venstre, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party. It relies on parliamentary support from the Danish People's Party.

Lib–Lab pact

In British politics, a Lib–Lab pact is a working arrangement between the Liberal Democrats (in previous times, the Liberal Party) and the Labour Party.

There have been four such arrangements, and one alleged proposal, at the national level. In many local councils in the UK there are similar arrangements, although there are also arrangements where the Lib Dems and Labour oppose each other and instead form a local alliance with another party or with independent councillors.

Lloyd George ministry

Liberal David Lloyd George formed a coalition government in the United Kingdom in December 1916, and was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by King George V. It replaced the earlier wartime coalition under H. H. Asquith, which had been held responsible for losses during the Great War. Those Liberals who continued to support Asquith served as the Official Opposition. The government continued in power after the end of the war in 1918, though Lloyd George was increasingly reliant on the Conservatives for support. After several scandals including allegations of the sale of honours, the Conservatives withdrew their support after a meeting at the Carlton Club in 1922, and Bonar Law formed a government.

Majority government

A majority government refers to one or multiple governing parties that hold an absolute majority of seats in legislature. This is as opposed to a minority government, where the largest party in a legislature only has a plurality of seats.

A majority government is usually assured of having its legislation passed and rarely, if ever, has to fear being defeated in parliament. In contrast, a minority government must constantly bargain for support from other parties in order to pass legislation and avoid being defeated on motions of no confidence.

The term "majority government" may also be used for a stable coalition of two or more parties to form an absolute majority. One example of such an electoral coalition is in Australia, where the Liberal and National parties have run as an electoral bloc for decades.

Another example was the 2010-2015 coalition government in the United Kingdom, which was composed of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. The Conservatives won the most seats of any single party in the 2010 election, but fell short of an absolute majority. However, by combining with the Liberal Democrats a solid majority in the House of Commons was created. This was the first true coalition government in the UK since World War II.

Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti (born 22 May 1959) is an Indian politician who served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, from 4th April 2016 to 19th June 2018. She resigned on June 19 2018 after BJP withdrew support from the coalition government. She was the first woman to hold the office. Mehbooba Mufti is India's second Muslim woman chief minister after Syeda Anwara Taimur of Assam. She is the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was a member of the Indian parliament, representing Anantnag in the 16th Lok Sabha; before she was sworn in as the Chief Minister of J&K. She had previously represented Anantnag in the 14th Lok Sabha (2004–09) but did not contest the 2009 election for the 15th Lok Sabha.

National Party of Australia – NSW

The National Party of Australia – N.S.W. , commonly known as the NSW Nationals, is a political party in New South Wales which forms the state branch of the federal Nationals. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the Progressive Party, from the 1922 split until 1925. It then used the name the Country Party until 1977, when it became the National Country Party. The party's name was changed to the National Party of Australia in 1982.

The party, commonly referred to as "The Nationals," has generally been the junior partner in a centre-right Coalition with the NSW branch of the Liberal Party of Australia. Since 1927, the Nationals have been in Coalition with the Liberals and their predecessors, the Nationalist Party of Australia (1927-1931), the United Australia Party (1931-1943), the Democratic Party (1943-1944) and the United Democratic Party (1944-1945). New South Wales is the only state where the Coalition has never been broken, and yet has not merged into a unified non-Labor party.

During periods of conservative government, the leader of the Nationals also serves as Deputy Premier of New South Wales. When the conservatives are in opposition, the Liberal and National parties usually form a joint opposition bench.

Reform Government of New Zealand

The Reform Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1912 to 1928. It is perhaps best remembered for its anti-trade union stance in the Waihi miners' strike of 1912 and a dockworkers' strike the following year. It also governed during World War I, during which a temporary coalition was formed with the Liberal Party.

Royal Lao Government

The Royal Lao Government was the ruling authority in the Kingdom of Laos from 1947 until the communist seizure of power in December 1975 and the proclamation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The Franco-Lao Treaty of 1953 gave Laos full independence but the following years were marked by a rivalry between the neutralists under Prince Souvanna Phouma, the right wing under Prince Boun Oum of Champassak, and the left-wing, Lao Patriotic Front under Prince Souphanouvong and future Prime Minister Kaysone Phomvihane. During this period, a number of unsuccessful attempts were made to establish coalition governments.

United Kingdom government austerity programme

The United Kingdom government austerity programme is a fiscal policy adopted in the early 21st century following the Great Recession. It is a deficit reduction programme consisting of sustained reductions in public spending and tax rises, intended to reduce the government budget deficit and the role of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. The National Health Service and education have been "ringfenced" and protected from direct spending cuts. The effects of United Kingdom austerity policies have proved controversial and the policies have received criticism from a variety of politicians and economists. Anti-austerity movements have been formed among citizens more generally.

United–Reform coalition Government of New Zealand

The United–Reform coalition government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1931 to 1935. It was a coalition between two of the three major parties of the time, the United and Reform, formed to deal with the Great Depression which began in 1929. The Labour Party refused to join the coalition, as it believed that the only solution to the depression was socialism, which United and Reform did not support. Rather, they attempted to solve the country's economic problems by cutting public spending. This, the policy of making the unemployed do relief work for the unemployment benefit, and other cost-cutting policies, made the government the most unpopular of its era, and it was defeated in the 1935 election.

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