Australia’s former prime minister Scott Morrison was appointed deputy head of five ministries during the pandemic. After the revelation, the outrage was great.
Being a minister is really a public office. In every country in the world, the politically interested public, members of parliament and cabinet colleagues know who the minister is and what department he or she heads. In almost everything. Surprised Australians will now find their country is far below what they voted for in May Prime Minister Scott Morrison This was not the case: some departments were managed in secret, and not just the ministers who sat at the cabinet table for them.
During Morrison’s tenure, a second minister was appointed to each of the five important ministries in addition to the actual head of department by official but highly secretive legislation. The new Prime Minister is Anthony Albanese His countrymen were surprised last week to confirm media reports.
“Unprecedented attack on democracy”
In addition, the name of the second secretary who was sworn in was the same for all five houses: Scott Morrison. None other than the Prime Minister, Governor-General David Hurley, had sworn him into these five ministerial posts – so secret that four of the five ministers actually responsible only learned from the newspapers that they had a co-ruler at home.
After the revelation, the outrage was great. Prime Minister Albanese accused his predecessor of “unprecedented suppression of democracy”. And Morrison’s predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, criticized a “severe lack of respect and understanding for democratic governance”, although, unlike Albanese, a Labor man, he belonged to the same political camp as Morrison. Elsewhere, there were many voices in the Liberal Party calling on the former prime minister to take him on. Election failure Leave the rest of the seats on the back benches of Parliament.
“These are extraordinary times and they have called for extraordinary measures,” Morrison said in a detailed Facebook post, justifying crowding his offices with the coronavirus pandemic. In the event that a minister with important powers is absent due to the virus – at that time, due to the risk of infection – his taking over ministerial powers is an “emergency-window-breaking backup”. Parliament cannot convene and the Cabinet can only meet if computerized.
Indeed, shortly after the outbreak of the epidemic, Morrison appointed Governor-General Hurley as Minister of Health, who was given far-reaching powers under Australia’s Life Safety Act. No cameras, it doesn’t require a ritual oath, just an administrative act. Morrison or Hurley, former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and representative to date the queen In their territory on the other side of the world, the public felt it necessary to inform Parliament or even the Cabinet. It is not even certain whether they breached not only the principles of Westminster democracy but the applicable law. Australia’s constitution is very vague.
After all, the then health minister, Greg Hunt, was told who sat next to him. Scott Morrison, on the other hand, left other department heads in the dark. His budget minister Mathias Gorman, whom the prime minister appointed as co-minister two weeks later, his finance minister Josh Frydenberg a year later, and home secretary Karen Andrews had little idea of these measures. He reacted very angrily to Morrison’s revelation that he had accepted the secret post. Andrews suggested that Morrison “leave Parliament and find a job elsewhere”.
Morrison explained his secrecy by saying that he had no intention of interfering with the responsibilities of his ministers and did not want to give the appearance of being able to do so. However, for once, he did as he himself agreed. Faced with reluctance to pursue the gas project in near-shore constituencies, including among his own liberal supporters, he briefly and again secretly appointed himself mining minister in April 2021, replacing the actual leader with a license suspension. Family, Keith Pitt.
Part of his self-portrayal as a secretary is that the former prime minister always preferred to take decisions alone rather than collectively in cabinet, and showed little concern for constitutional finesse. Morrison once said he could be a bulldozer at times. “The world’s first stealth bulldozer,” taunts his successor, Albanese.