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Sunday, March 09, 2008

australian cabinet making.

According to wikipedia, "cabinet making involves techniques such as creating appropriate joints, shelving systems, the use of finishing tools such as routers to create decorative edgings, and so on." This process doesn't sound too different than the actual process of political cabinet making which Tory Premier Ed Stelmach is currently undergoing.

Instead of speculating on which Tory MLAs will and won't make the cabinet cut (though I do think it will be a challenging balance act and I may write a post about that), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how cabinets are or have been selected in two other countries.

Down Under, the Australian Labour Party and New Zealand Labour Party have a tradition of allowing individual caucus member to elect cabinet ministers from their among their peers. Though the Prime Minister had retained the right to decide portfolios, members of factions within the caucus exercised considerable influence over who was elected to cabinet. In 2007, newly-elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did away with the substance of the tradition by selecting the cabinet but allowing the caucus to ratify it (which it did unanimously).

A similar cabinet selection process was proposed by Federal Liberal MP Belinda Stronach back in 2006 and was supported by former North West Territories Premier Joe Handley.

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