Shadow Cabinet

The Shadow Cabinet is a feature of the Westminster system of government. It consists of a senior group of opposition spokespeople who, under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, form an alternative cabinet to that of the government, and whose members shadow or mirror the positions of each individual member of the Cabinet.[1] It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to scrutinise the policies and actions of the government, as well as to offer an alternative program. The Shadow Cabinet makes up the majority of the Official Opposition frontbench.

In most countries, a member of the shadow cabinet is referred to as a Shadow Minister. In the United Kingdom's House of Lords and in New Zealand, the term "spokesperson" is used instead of "shadow".[1] In Canada, however, the term Opposition Critic is more common.

The shadow minister's duties may give them considerable prominence in the party caucus hierarchy especially if it is a high-profile portfolio, although their salary and benefits remain the same as a backbencher. Members of a shadow cabinet may not necessarily be appointed to the corresponding Cabinet post if and when their party forms a government.

Cultural applications

In the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand the major opposition party and specifically its shadow cabinet is called His or Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.[2] The adjective "loyal" is used because, while the role of the opposition is to oppose Her Majesty's Government, it does not dispute the sovereign's right to the throne and therefore the legitimacy of the government. However, in other countries that use the Westminster system, the opposition is known simply as The Parliamentary Opposition.[3]

Some parliamentary parties, notably the Australian Labor Party, elect all the members of their shadow cabinets in a party room ballot, with the Leader of the Opposition then allocating portfolios to the Shadow Ministers.[4] In other parliamentary parties, the membership and composition of the Shadow Cabinet is generally determined solely by the Leader of the Opposition.

Third parties

In many jurisdictions, third parties (which are neither participant in the government nor in the official opposition) may also form their own parliamentary front benches of spokespersons; however, parliamentary standing orders on the right of parties to speak often dictate that it can only be granted to a party or group if a minimum number of members can be recorded by the party. In Ireland, for example, technical groups are often formed by third parties and independent TDs in the Dáil Éireann in order to increase the members' right to speak against larger parties which can afford the right to speak as Front Benches in Government or Opposition.[5][6]

Use outside English-speaking countries

While the practice of parliamentary shadow cabinets or frontbenches is not widespread in Germany, party leaders have often formed boards of experts and advisors ("teams of experts", or Kompetenzteam, in CDU/CSU and SPD parlance; alternate "top team", or Spitzenteam, in Alliance '90/The Greens parlance).

By country

Australia
New South Wales
The Bahamas
Canada
Ontario
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Lithuania
Malaysia
New Zealand
Poland
Serbia
  • Shadow Cabinet (Serbian: Влада у сенци)
Sri Lanka
  • Joined Opposition (led by ex-President Mahinda Rajapakshe)
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sudan
Thailand
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Scotland
Wales

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Shadow Cabinet: Glossary". UK Parliament. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  2. ^ Mary Durkin; Oonagh Gay (21 June 2006). "Her Majesty's Opposition, SN/PC/3910" (PDF). Commons Standard Notes. Library of the House of Commons, UK Parliament. Retrieved 22 September 2012. This note outlines the rights and privileges of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, or the Official Opposition, as the party with the second largest number of seats within the House of Commons is known.
  3. ^ Manhire, Toby; Pinner, Philip (19 December 2011). "NZ election 2011: the aftermath". New Zealand Listener. APN News & Media. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  4. ^ Joel Bateman. "In The Shadows: The Shadow Cabinet in Australia" (PDF). Parliament of Australia: Department of Parliamentary Services. Retrieved 22 September 2012. ISBN 978-0-9806554-0-7
  5. ^ HARRY McGEE (January 11, 2012). "Technical group makes voice heard and gives bigger parties run for their money". Irish Times. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  6. ^ "TDs agree to form Dáil technical group". Irish Times. 3 Mar 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-04-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
1954 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in 1954. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Clement Attlee), Deputy Leader (Herbert Morrison), Labour Chief Whip (William Whiteley), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (William Jowitt) were automatically members.

The 12 winners of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1955 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in 1955. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Clement Attlee), Deputy Leader (Herbert Morrison), Labour Chief Whip (William Whiteley), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (William Jowitt) were automatically members.

The 12 winners of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1956 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1956. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Hugh Gaitskell), Deputy Leader (Jim Griffiths), Labour Chief Whip (Herbert Bowden), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (A. V. Alexander) were automatically members.

The results of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1957 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1957. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Hugh Gaitskell), Deputy Leader (Jim Griffiths), Labour Chief Whip (Herbert Bowden), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (A. V. Alexander) were automatically members.

The results of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1959 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1959. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Hugh Gaitskell), Deputy Leader (Aneurin Bevan), Labour Chief Whip (Herbert Bowden), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (A. V. Alexander), and Labour Chief Whip in the House of Lords (Lord Faringdon) were automatically members.Full results are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1960 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1960. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Hugh Gaitskell), Deputy Leader (George Brown), Labour Chief Whip (Herbert Bowden), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (A. V. Alexander), and Labour Chief Whip in the House of Lords (Lord Faringdon) were automatically members.Full results are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1981 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") took place on 19 November 1981. There were 15 posts, rather than 12 as in previous years. In addition to the 15 members elected, the Leader (Michael Foot), Deputy Leader (Denis Healey), Labour Chief Whip (Michael Cocks), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (Lord Peart), and Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Jack Dormand) were automatically members.

Of the 12 incumbent members, 10 were re-elected. Tony Benn, who was the top loser in 1980 automatically took the William Rodgers when the latter left the party to create the Social Democratic Party. He lost again in this election. It is unclear whether Roy Mason lost re-election or did not stand. The results of the election, though incomplete, are below

1988 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1988. In addition to the 15 members elected, the Leader (Neil Kinnock), Deputy Leader (Roy Hattersley), Labour Chief Whip (Derek Foster), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (Cledwyn Hughes), and Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Stanley Orme) were automatically members.The 15 winners of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1989 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1989. For these elections the Shadow Cabinet was expanded from 15 to 18 seats and, for the first time, MPs had to cast at least three votes for women.In July 1989 Labour agreed to increase the number of places on the Shadow Cabinet and introduce positive discrimination to ensure more women were included. After considering several options for increasing the number of women in the Shadow Cabinet, the party voted for Llin Golding's proposal to require all MPs to cast at least three votes for women. As a result of these changes, the Shadow Cabinet elected in 1989 included four women for the first time.In addition to the 18 members elected, the Leader (Neil Kinnock), Deputy Leader (Roy Hattersley), Labour Chief Whip (Derek Foster), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (Cledwyn Hughes), Chief Whip in the House of Lords (Thomas Ponsonby), House of Lords Shadow Cabinet representative (Joe Dean) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Stanley Orme) were automatically members.The 18 winners of the election are listed below:

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1990 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet took place on 24 October 1990. Under the rules then in effect, the Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party elected 18 members of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, who were then assigned portfolios by the leader. The Commons members of the PLP separately elected the Chief Whip, and the Labour peers elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In addition, the Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader (Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, respectively) were members by virtue of those offices.

As a result of the election, Joan Lestor lost her seat in the Shadow Cabinet, and was replaced by Ann Taylor; all other members were re-elected.

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1992 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet took place in July 1992. Shadow Cabinet elections generally take place at the beginning of a parliamentary session, but the 1992 vote was postponed until a new leader was elected to replace Neil Kinnock. Under the rules then in effect, the Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party elected 18 members of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, who were then assigned portfolios by the leader. The Commons members of the PLP separately elected the Chief Whip, and the Labour peers elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In addition, the Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader (John Smith and Margaret Beckett, respectively) were members by virtue of those offices. The 18 elected members of the Shadow Cabinet were the ones with the largest number of votes, except that the three women with the most votes would be included in the 18, even if they weren't among the top 18 based on the number of votes.

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1993 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet took place in October 1993, at the beginning of the 1993/4 session of parliament. Under the rules then in effect, the Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party elected 18 members of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, who were then assigned portfolios by the leader. The Commons members of the PLP separately elected the Chief Whip, and the Labour peers elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In addition, the Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader (John Smith and Margaret Beckett, respectively) were members by virtue of those offices. The 18 elected members of the Shadow Cabinet were the ones with the largest number of votes. Beginning with this election, MPs were required to vote for at least four women, but women were no longer guaranteed three places in the Shadow Cabinet.

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

1996 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet took place in July 1996. Under the rules then in effect, the Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party elected 19 members of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, who were then assigned portfolios by the leader. The Labour peers elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In addition, the Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader (Tony Blair and John Prescott, respectively) were members by virtue of those offices. The 19 elected members of the Shadow Cabinet were the ones with the largest number of votes. MPs were required to vote for at least four women, but women were not necessarily guaranteed places in the Shadow Cabinet.

† Multiple candidates tied for position.

2010 Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election

The Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) elected 19 members of the Shadow Cabinet from among their number in 2010. This follows the Labour Party's defeat in the 2010 general election, after which the party formed the Official Opposition in the United Kingdom.

A separate election for Opposition Chief Whip, an ex officio member of the Shadow Cabinet, happened at the same time. Rosie Winterton was unopposed in that election, and she would serve for the remainder of the Parliament. The results of the Shadow Cabinet election were announced on 7 October 2010, hours after the balloting closed.

The PLP voted to abolish Shadow Cabinet elections at a meeting on 5 July 2011, and the National Executive Committee and the Party Conference followed suit. As a result, the 2010 Shadow Cabinet election was the last.

Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (United Kingdom)

The Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (usually known simply as the Shadow Cabinet) is, in British parliamentary practice, senior members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition who scrutinise their corresponding Government ministers, develop alternative policies, and hold the Government to account for its actions and responses. Since May 2010, the Labour Party has been Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, and its leadership therefore forms the current Shadow Cabinet.

Not all Opposition frontbenchers are members of the Shadow Cabinet, which is composed of the most senior Opposition Members (usually around twenty).

The Leader of the Opposition, the Opposition Chief Whip and Opposition Deputy Chief Whip are the only Members of the Official Opposition to draw remuneration for their Opposition roles in addition to their salaries as Members of Parliament. The Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords also receive a salary.

Shadow Cabinet (Scottish Parliament)

Unlike the Westminster arrangement where there is an 'Official Opposition' to the government of the day, there is no such thing as an 'official' opposition to the Scottish Government. Instead, all parties that are not in government are merely 'opposition parties'. With the current Scottish Government being Scottish National Party (SNP), the four other main parties are all opposition parties and each will have a Shadow Cabinet composed of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) with a responsibility to shadow a government minister or area of government.

Parties are allowed to choose how their spokespersons are referred to. Named party spokespeople are not all Members of the Scottish Parliament.

Shadow Ministry of Australia

The Shadow Ministry of Australia (also known as the Opposition Front Bench) is a group of senior Opposition spokespeople who are regarded as the alternative Cabinet to the Cabinet of Australia, whose members shadow or mark each individual Minister or portfolio of the Government. Neither the Shadow Cabinet nor the Shadow Ministers have any official status in the Parliament of Australia. The Shadow Cabinet's membership is determined by the rules and practices of the Opposition party.

Since the 2013 Labor leadership ballot resulting from the 2013 Australian federal election, the Shadow Cabinet has been led by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the Liberal/National Coalition has led the Morrison Government since the 2018 Liberal leadership ballot.

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