This chapter examines how elite political actors are held to account. It examines collective responsibility, individual ministerial responsibility, and their personal accountability for actions not directly related to their duties as ministers. Governments confronted the dilemmas posed by the arrival of ‘responsible party government’. The constitutional conventions creaked under the impact of party self-interest. The shared responses to improvise to meet whatever political exigencies confronted the government. So, notions of cabinet solidarity were relaxed to accommodate dissent, ministerial resignations became prime ministerial tactical calculations of political dispensability, and prime ministers found other ways to renew their ministries to ensure turnover. However, such improvization prompted outrage, and calls for a return to responsible government. So, governments sought refuge in new codes. Today, we still operate with ‘heroic’ notions of ministers, yet they are embedded in a web of accountabilities, constantly negotiating their way through overlapping and multiple demands.
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