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Australia’s Minister of Everything

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison's multiple ministerial self-appointments cannot be explained as anything other than an exercise of hubris. With a new Labor government now in charge, it is to be hoped that Australia's long years of dysfunctional government and bizarre political surprises may finally be over.

MELBOURNE – Australia continues to be a source of bemused fascination to students of Western parliamentary democracy. After a pantomime period not so long ago in which the country changed its leader five times in five years, it has now been revealed that our most recently defeated prime minister, Scott Morrison, contrived over the past two years effectively to appoint himself minister to no fewer than five other major government departments. Moreover, Morrison did so without – except in one case – the knowledge or agreement of the minister whose job he was duplicating, and without informing his cabinet colleagues, parliament, or the Australian public.