The American President and the British Prime Minister seem to be ranked top among the most powerful leaders across the globe. These leaders tend to be very influential in worldwide issues, and are quite vocal in matters related to their continent.
They represent the epitome of power. Some political analysts attribute their stature to dictating world order.
American President vs British Prime Minister in terms of Power
A question always posed by many parties inquiries on ‘Who is the most powerful – America’s president or Britain’s Prime Minister?’ [Source]. Truman in his article titled ‘Truman in his article titled ‘Who Has More Power: President or Prime Minister?’, responded to that question by saying “Political instinct alone seems to dictate to many that the American president – ‘the world’s most powerful man’ – is the most powerful politician in any of the world’s democratic nations. He is at the head of the world’s most modern military force and the world’s largest economy. What the president says is reported around the world and world share markets can fall or rise on any public statement by him”.
Such a response carries facts which state that one who controls the economy is ‘king’. America boasts of military prowess worldwide. Considering that they have over 800 foreign military bases. Its military personnel or security agents are stationed in almost all countries which are influential in this world. The combination of an advanced economy, technology and a puffed up military empower the American president.
Truman questions if “he is the western world’s most powerful politician?’
The political structure of Britain and the US can be classified as huge and to oversee such a political arena is a big task.
A comparison between the two indicates that the Americans deal carefully with the president. They would not historically allow the position to be “sullied”.
The British PM is seen has a similar “international standing” as the US president. However, the British lag behind in military and economic power, which then makes the US president more powerful.
This is also cemented by the power held by the American president in foreign policy. He heads a super power country, but he is not allowed to declare a war because this power lies with the Congress.
From another angle, the British PM holds more authority since he also serves as a member of parliament and head of his party, while the president only serves on his post.
It was noted “The fact that a president and a prime minister function (with) in different types of systems, makes it difficult to compare their powers and their chances of dominating the government agenda” [Source].
On domestic policy, the PM has an upper hand because his policies to the parliamentarians are likely to be supported. He/she can act on them as compared to the president who can only suggest laws that need to be rectified by Congress. Due to this, the PM is powerful in implementing domestic policy.
It is hard to remove a president from his position because he knows that he was elected for four years, and this is why it was hard to impeach Bill Clinton. On the other hand, the PM is held accountable for his actions and can be put before the House of Commons and questioned on his leadership moves.
The two do have equal input in the judicial system. The president can appoint Supreme court judges who need to be ratified by the Senate, while the PM “can influence the appointed senior figures in the judiciary as he appoints the Lord Chancellor who then had great power in selecting circuit judges etc.”.
American President vs British Prime Minister in terms of Scandals and History
On this aspect, the American president seems to be involved in a lot of world issues and is quite active in both internal and external matters.
Both leadership offices are despised for participating in the most inhumane acts including ‘slavery and regime-changing wars’.
The British monarchy is well known for suppressing the sovereignty of many countries and the Queen would oversee a lot of territories.
American is infamous for shipping Africans from their continents and subjugating them.
The American president was also responsible for ending slavery in his territory.
But the American president also has a lot of scandals as the self-proclaimed ‘greatest country’ is always mingling in people’s business.
Racist cases are still rampant in the country and launching attacks on minority races in other countries is the most dominant act in the US. American presidential scandals include, “Watergate, Lewinsky Scandal, Iran Contra Affair, Teapot Dome, The Whiskey Ring, A Corrupt Bargain, Trump’s and Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment [Source]. The British PMs are not short of scandals linked to sexual harassment, corruption, and greed.
The American leader takes the cup because most of his decisions also affect foreign nations. The rolling out of sanctions, distribution of covid-19 vaccines, war in Afghanistan and drone attacks are some examples.