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Exercise 6. Match the questions 1-10 with the answers A-J

1. What is the Government?

2. What is the Cabinet?

3. Who chooses the Cabinet?

4. Which positions are included in the Cabinet?

5. When and where does the Cabinet meet?

6. Can Governments include members of more than one party?

7. What are Government Departments?

8. What is the relationship between Parliament and the Government?

9. Who are the Opposition?

10. What role does the Opposition play?

A The Opposition consists of all those parties which, as a result of the last general election, are not part of the Government. It is made up of the Official Opposition, the Opposition party with the largest number of members, and a number of smaller parties.
B The Prime Minister decides which positions will be included in his or her Cabinet. Heads of Government Departments will usually all be Cabinet ministers. A Cabinet must be large enough to include senior ministers whilst small enough to allow for constructive discussion, usually about 20 people.
C The Government is like the management of the country. It makes the important decisions, e.g. about foreign policy, education, or health, but many of these decisions have to be approved by Parliament. Over 1,000 people are entitled to sit in the two Houses of Parliament, but only about 100 of these belong to the Government.
D Before 1945 there were several Governments whose members were drawn from a variety of different parties. This is known as coalition government. Coalitions have, in the past, usually been formed in times of national crisis, for example during war time, in periods of economic difficulty or if no party has a majority.
E The Opposition can challenge the Government, during Question Time, in committee and by debate. In addition the Opposition may oppose the Government’s attempts to make new laws. Senior members of the Opposition are known as the Shadow Cabinet.
F Cabinet meetings are usually held on a Thursday morning in the Cabinet room at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister can summon the Cabinet to meet at any time and meetings will be more frequent when the political situation requires.
G The most senior members of the Government are known as the Cabinet.
H Members of both Houses can challenge the Government in committees, in debates and by questioning it about its work. Parliament has to ensure that the Government is working properly and that its decisions are in the public interest.
I Most of the ministers of the Cabinet are heads of Government Departments. The work of Government is divided among Departments which each specialise in a particular subject, e.g. defence, education, trade and industry. The number and responsibilities of Government Departments can be changed by the Prime Minister according to the needs of the country.
J Members of the Cabinet are chosen by the Prime Minister. The majority of the members of are drawn from the House of Commons. Nevertheless there are always a few members from the House of Lords.


Exercise 7. Fill in the names of the current members of Her Majesty’s Cabinet and the Leader of her Majesty's opposition.

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