Talk:Shadow cabinet

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Surely Front Bench (which redirects here) is used to refer to the front benches of either the opposition (the shadow cabinet) or the government (the actual cabinet). Indeed, isn't it even used to refer to the LibDem spokesmen? And isn't the phrase used in other parliaments as well? I don't think it should redirect here (though what should be done with it, I'm not sure). --Camembert

No Front Bench (double capitalisation) is generally used to refer to the shadow cabinet, whether it is of the major opposition party or a minor one. Some states use SC, others (eg, Ireland) use FB to describe the senior alternative ministers around the Leader of the Opposition. A front bench (lower case) very rarely is used to describe ministers, but that is at its most generic and very very rarely. 99 times out of 100, Front Bench (specifically when double capitalised) means simply the opposition alternative ministers. STÓD/ÉÍRE 02:04 Apr 11, 2003 (UTC)

Fair enough. I stand corrected. I knew I should stay out of the politics pages ;) --Camembert

Cam, you always make good contributions. I kinda forgot that SC/FB is used by smaller parties and not just the main opposition. You reminded me so I changed the article to include them so I'm glad you didn't stay away.

Ah, you flatter me. Thanks :) --Camembert

I put frontbencher on before I saw this. Feel free to add an Irish element, but in the UK it is a physical position for Government and Opposition.--Henrygb 17:10, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I was once told that the term 'Shadow Cabinet' was coined by the BBC. Is there any substance in that? Adambisset 18:42, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that the section about "However in other countries that use the Westminster system (eg. Australia and New Zealand), the opposition is known simply as The Parliamentary Opposition" is actually correct. Although the Opposition party is typically called "The Opposition", and (for the purposes of news or otherwise) referred to as the The Parliamentary Opposition for purposes of clarification, it's still officially HM Loyal Opposition.

I and others can attest that I have never seen a reference to an Opposition in Australia anywhere as such, and certainly not in any official capacity. I suggest you find a reference for this point. Parliamentary customs are not identical across the Commonwealth Realms. Lacrimosus 23:02, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'll also jump in and say that I can't find any official use of the term in New Zealand, either. It is used by some individual politicians, but this is rare, and I can't tell whether they're using the title because it's official or whether they're just being deliberately old-fashoned. (Some of the instances I've found seem to be slightly facetious). I would prefer it if the term were not applied to the New Zealand opposition unless someone can first provide an official citation. (I do have a claim by a fairly authoritative source that the the "Leader of the Opposition" is officially just that, not "Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition".) -- Vardion 05:46, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Merger with Shadow Government[edit]

I'd dispute the proposed merger with shadow government for three main reasons:

  • "shadow cabinet" is a term specific to the Westminster system; shadow government has a broader meaning and is hardly ever encountered in a Westminster context;
  • "shadow government"'s primary meaning is not to an opposition, but rather a "reserve" government that waits to take over from the acting administration in the event of some disaster or incapacity;
  • A secondary meaning of "shadow government" has to do with conspiracy theories, which is entirely unlike the Westminster shadow cabinet. Slac speak up! 19:19, 18 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. If no one objects within the next few days I will remove the merge tag. the wub "?!" 09:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please go ahead and remove the tags; it's been more than three weeks. --moof 02:39, 31 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Tags removed --Saint-Paddy 21:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seconded. I'd even recommend removing the link to Shadow Government, since it does not reference any kind of "loyal opposition" but talks mainly about governemnts that are formed as responses to invasion or coups brought about by civil or international strife. Owlqueen 22:04, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Zealand shadow cabinet[edit]

The article says New Zealand doesn't have a Shadow Cabinet, and uses "Parliamentary Opposition", instead. I have seen articles using the term, including one from when John Key took over and reshuffled the front bench; it said the first 16 names were the Shadow Cabinet. So what is the source for the text. I have already removed a similar reference to Australia because new stories, Hansard, and the opposition party all use the term. I think Australia at least made sense because a previous opposition front bench did not distinguish between shadow cabinet and junior ministers. -Rrius (talk) 23:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

LibDems in UK[edit]

I'm putting back in references to (1) the minor parties in the intro text and (2) LibDems in the UK section as these were taken out without a discussion two times (23:57, 12 March 2009 and 13:01, 12 August 2009 This has been discussed at Talk:Liberal_Democrat_Frontbench_Team#Lib_Dem_Shadow_Cabinet and is also supported by the UK parliament itself at —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexd (talkcontribs)

Canada Shadow Cabinet[edit]

Although there are four opposition parties, two of which (to date) have announced critics, the term "Shadow Cabinet" is very much reserved for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Someone continues to add the Liberal Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois into the heading of Canada. If the users who disagree would like, they could create a new heading in the page . But please leave only the NDP as the Shadow Cabinet for Canada. It is not correct to add the Liberals or the Bloc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 6 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UK items[edit]

The link supporting use of "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition", which was a PDF on the official UK Parliament website, is no longer functional. I searched for a replacement, and found two official pages, Her Majesty's Official Opposition (updated 11 Sept 2012) and UK Parliament - Glossary entry for Shadow Cabinet. Neither mentions the adjective "Loyal". I did not alter the article, but I would suggest that an alternative source be found as a supporting link.

I also added a sentence regarding usage of the term "spokesperson" rather than "shadow" in the House of Lords, as that was stated as fact by the Glossary. I am hesitant to make any other changes here, as this is not a subject about which I have any particular knowledge! --FeralOink (talk) 12:43, 22 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good news! I just found a replacement PDF for the dead link. The updated link, also from the official website, provides an adequate description for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.--FeralOink (talk) 13:56, 22 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Green Shadow Cabinet for the U.S.A.[edit]

I think it's an American take on the shadow cabinet. And here's the Truth-Out article on that. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 08:59, 2 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (Australia)[edit]

I've never heard this expression used in Australia, except occasionally facetiously. Can anyone provide a reference? Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 11:45, 6 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


umm... The first shadow cabinet was instituted by UK leader of the opposition Hugh Gaitskell in 1951 to assist in opposing the policies of the government of Winston Churchill.

This is nonsense. Gaitskell did not become leader of the opposition until 1955. john k (talk) 18:29, 20 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use outside English-speaking countries[edit]

Given that the list of shadow cabinets includes Italy, it seems strange that this section only has a brief entry describing shadow cabinets in Germany, and no mention of the other non-English-speaking countries — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheCat (talkcontribs) 21:09, 9 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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"Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to criticise"[edit]

The article states "It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to criticise the policies and actions of the government, as well to offer an alternative program." Would "scrutinise" not be a more accurate word than "criticise"? I know in reality, politicians are all about scoring points at every given opportunity, but I'd like to think that if a government minister came up with a really good policy, the shadow minister would surely not criticise it just for the sake of it. LoveEverybodyUnconditionally (talk) 13:54, 26 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As no one has chipped in, I have made this change. LoveEverybodyUnconditionally (talk) 21:40, 4 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing spelling to Shadow cabinet[edit]

Is there a reason I'm not aware of that this article capitalizes not only Shadow (that's normal) but also Cabinet? As far as I know, unless it refers to a specific shadow cabinet, the term shouldn't be capitalized. I'd like to change this, unless, again, there's a reason that I'm unfamiliar with. Revirvlkodlaku (talk) 03:42, 4 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shadow ministers who are former ministers[edit]

I put this in at the top of the article: "As well as being potential future ministers, many shadow ministers have been former ministers."

However this got removed by Revirvlkodlaku on the basis that it is an unreferenced claim.

It is not a claim. It is an established fact.

It is hard to believe that Revirvlkodlaku who is from Canada does not know that.

I am from Australia in which the current Opposition leader Anthony Albanese was a shadow minister under his predecessor Bill Shorten.

Before that when his party was in government he and Shorten were both ministers with Albanese ending his stint as a minister as Deputy Prime Minister.

In Canada where Revirvlkodlaku is from the current Opposition Leader is Erin O'Toole.

O'Toole was a shadow minister under his predecessor Andrew Scheer and before that O'Toole was a minister under Stephen Harper. (talk) 14:31, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While it is quite possible that what you say is accurate, that's not the point here. If you cannot reference a claim, you should not be including it in a Wikipedia article, that's simply how this platform works. While you seem surprised that I am not familiar with the minutiae of Canadian politics, I am surprised that you are not familiar with this basic Wikipedia rule. Additionally, please don't revert edits by registered users if you are not one yourself. You have done the right thing by starting a discussion on the talk page. Leave it at that and wait to see if a consensus position develops; do not continue reverting. Revirvlkodlaku (talk) 15:26, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have said it thrice, including this time, that it is not a claim. It is a fact.

For you to continue to use the word "claim" after I said it wasn't is a misrepresentation of my intent. Not to mention most of the article prior to that fact was written without any citation.

Why single mine out. (talk) 20:11, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Listen, I think you are misunderstanding where I'm coming from, so let me try to explain. As I mentioned before, you're most likely correct about what you're saying, but that isn't the point here. What you've done by including that line about shadow ministers also being former ministers, is attempt to include information that you are aware of as being a fact. This is valid, but within the scope of Wikipedia, it's called "original research". What this means is that you are including your own knowledge into an article without a proper citation to back it up. On Wikipedia, everything that is stated as a claim of fact should be backed up by a reference. Now, I acknowledge that the majority of things written on Wikipedia are not, in fact, referenced, but this does not mean that one should continue to add more original research without references. What it means is that new editors, such as yourself, need to familiarize themselves with the rules and try to be more rigorous in the way they edit. Additionally, there exists a variety of templates that are added to articles to inform the reader that references may be lacking or that specific claims are not properly cited. It's not that I'm singling your edit out from the rest of the article. It just so happens that I began watching this page before you made the edit, so now any additional content added here is vetted by myself, among others. Do you understand?
Now, instead of following my guidance as an experienced editor, when I told you not to revert because that is not done on Wikipedia, you went ahead and reverted again. This tells me that you are not willing to follow Wikipedia guidelines but that you stubbornly insist on doing things your way. This is unacceptable, and if this is your approach to editing on this platform, then you are not welcome. You aren't even a registered user. Have some humility and try to follow the rules of the platform you are attempting to be a part of. If you continue to revert the way you have so far, I will request that this article be protected so that unregistered users such as yourself are unable to make any changes. Do you understand this? Revirvlkodlaku (talk) 00:45, 21 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]