Are you aware of any famous recent examples (possibly supported by an article) where an European Head of Government appointed a cabinet member because of his capability to bridge the majority to the opposition?

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    This appears to be identical to a previous question with "US" replaced by European. Also its not clear what "bridge the majority" means. – James K Sep 9 '18 at 13:16
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    Yes, in the previous question they told me to do that for European such that I could narrow the potential answers. – andrea Sep 10 '18 at 11:51
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    "Any (..) example within Europe" sounds pretty narrow to me, since one such example is enough to obtain a good answer and it does not sound like a frequent political context. Also, the already existing answer proves that the question is answerable (although the example is rather old). Voting to reopen. – Alexei Sep 10 '18 at 19:45

In 1940, with war declared, and the general election cancelled, the new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (Conservative), appointed the opposition leader Clement Attlee and another opposition Labour MP, Arthur Greenwood, to a "War Cabinet" with the explicit intent of "building bridges" to the Labour Party opposition, and maintaining unity in the country for the duration of the war.

In general, most European countries have a cabinet formed of a coalition that holds a majority in parliament. While it may be necessary to "build bridges" to one's coalition partners, the support of the opposition is not needed to pass legislation.

  • Thanks a lot for the reply. In case of coalition that holds a majority in parliament, it can be still useful to appoint people close to the opponent to get help in case of lack of majority. I was trying to find an example of this practice, if any exists. Thanks again. – andrea Sep 10 '18 at 11:53
  • If you hold a majority, you don't need the opposition. If you (together with your allies and partners) don't hold a majority you aren't the government. Unlike in the US, it is not possible for the majority leader of the legistature and the head of government to be in different parties (normally they are the same person) – James K Sep 10 '18 at 16:51
  • If you hold a majority you need to talk to the opposition if you prefer compromise over demonstrations, filibusters, tough accounting on every government choice. You may also want to be in a good relationship with some opponents as a safe net in case the ruling coalition collaps. Therefore, people of the ruling party that have "friends" among the opponents, or have a skill in talking to the opposition can be suitable for some roles in governments. – andrea Sep 12 '18 at 8:32

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