The Loyal Opposition in America should form a Shadow Cabinet

As the Loyal Opposition in the United Kingdom, the Labour Party runs the Shadow Cabinet.

In the United Kingdom, major political parties that are out of power in parliament aren’t entirely erased out of the public’s imagining of government. In fact, as a fundamental feature of that nation’s system of government, the major opposition party is expected to appoint its senior leaders to a Shadow Cabinet. As the name implies, these Shadow Cabinet members mirror their counterparts in office, hold them accountable, and offer alternative policies. Here’s the definition from the British Parliament‘s official website:

“The Shadow Cabinet is the team of senior spokespeople chosen by the Leader of the Opposition to mirror the Cabinet in Government. Each member of the shadow cabinet is appointed to lead on a specific policy area for their party and to question and challenge their counterpart in the Cabinet. In this way the Official Opposition seeks to present itself as an alternative government-in-waiting.”

Why not institute a similar Shadow Cabinet in the United States for the political party that’s out of power in Congress and the White House? Of course, those Shadow Secretaries of State, Defense, Health and Human Services, and so forth wouldn’t hold any actual governmental powers. Instead, their positions would merely be formalization of informal policy and spokesperson duties within their party. Many national political leaders take on such responsibilities already, but establishing clearly delineated roles as direct counterparts to top Administration officials could help sharpen the public’s understanding of the differences between the governing party and its opposition, their competing policies, and their visions for the country.