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Australian Politics and Government: The Commonwealth, The by Jeremy Moon, Campbell Sharman

By Jeremy Moon, Campbell Sharman

This exam of the six states and self-governing territorial, in addition to nationwide, governments finds the diversity and innovation which characterizes the govt and politics of the Australian federation. Chapters by way of top students within the box merge details and research for the professional in addition to the overall reader. The paintings is a useful resource for reference and educating to someone all for Australian politics.

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A consequence was that the prime minister could increase the number of ministers while reducing the number of departments substantially (from thirty to sixteen). A senior minister could represent every department in cabinet, while there were more junior ministerial positions to satisfy the aspirations of members of the parliamentary party. This led to greater departmental stability because there was less need to solve problems of ministerial incompetence by changing the administrative structures.

Cabinet was collectively responsible for all the decisions of government, so that ministers were obliged to support in public even those decisions that they had opposed in cabinet. Prime ministers might interpret the rules in various ways, but the basic elements of collective cabinet responsibility have remained. As the prime ministers hold their 38 A USTRALIAN P OLITICS AND G OVERNMENT position because they are party leaders, they retain office only as long as they maintain the confidence of their party.

By the 1950s Menzies felt it had become too large and he split the ministry into two: the senior ministers who were members of cabinet, and a ‘second eleven’ of more junior ministers who held the less significant portfolios. This division has been retained since with the exception of the Whitlam government. Then, all twenty-seven ministers were members of cabinet with no formal division between them. It proved unwieldy, too large for effective debate and the making of timely decisions. Later Labor governments resumed the practice of dividing the cabinet into senior and junior teams.

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