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Flashcards in CHAPTER 4 Deck (27):

Components of real executive?

PM, Cabinet, junior and assistant,ministers


Define prime minister?

The head of the federal executive (The government). The leader of the majority in the HOR and the leader of the party forming government. Position is entirely governed by convention. Commissioned under s64.


Define ministers?

A member of the executive arm of Government. Ministers have responsibility for a particular area of government activity such as health, or education which are referred to as a 'portfolio'. s64 requires Ministers to be members of parliament. And


Roles of ministers?

- To manage a portfolio: This means they are responsible for a department of the public service.
- To participate in Cabinet meetings and deliberations of policy development, plan political strategy, deal with crises and help maintain the narrative of the Government.
- Publicly support Cabinet decisions, even when they disagree with them
- Answer to parliament under the conventions of individual ministerial responsibility for personal probity, political integrity and management of portfolio


Define cabinet?

A committee of the executive comprising the Prime Minister and Senior Ministers. I is entirely governed by convention and has no legal or constitutional authority. Despite this, it is the most powerful institution in the system of government.
Formally appointed by GG under s64 but ‘really’ chosen by PM


Define cabinet secrecy?

A Westminster Convention that the deliberations and discussions of cabinet should be out of public view. It allows robust and frank discussion within cabinet. It also allows cabinet to reach a single position and present a united government.


Define cabinet solidarity?

A Westminster Convention that the Cabinet presents a united government. All ministers are bound by the convention to publicly support the cabinet's position on all issues. If a minister cannot publicly support cabinet they are required, by convention, to resign.

Eg. Barnaby Joyce Minister of agriculture’s failure to support cabinets granting of permission for Shenhua coal mine


Roles of cabinet?

- To develop and communicate the narrative vision of government
- To develop and implement policies
- To coordinate the machinery of government
- To act as an information exchange


Where is formal constitutional executive power vested?

Created by s61. Vests executive power in the Queen and, the Governor-General.


What are cabinet comittees?

Subdivisions of groups of ministers for the purpose os focusing on specific areas of gov activity eg, Abbott cabinet has national security committee focused on major international security issues of importance in Australia


Where is EXCO established?

S62 establishes EXCO. Whoever it is west minister convention that the PM and ministers are given power


Roles of PM?q



What is an assistant minister?

A junior executive ministerial position.
- not permanent members of cabinet
- belong to outer ministry
- hold portfolios in less important gov activity and are there to assist senior ministers


Roles of PM?

- Key spokesperson for Australia
- Head of Cabinet
- Leader of the Government
- Governed by constitutional convention


Powers of PM?

- Being responsible for the membership of the Cabinet and Cabinet committees, determines and regulates all Cabinet arrangements.
- Advising the GG on the appointment of ministers (including allocating portfolios) and determines which ministers will form Cabinet.
- Assists with the appointments of Judges, diplomats and public servants
- As chair of the Cabinet, the PM leads and guides discussion to achieve a collective response (PM has finally authority)


Powers of ministers?

To administer a portfolio


Argument for Cabinet Secrecy

- Government must. speak with one coherent voice
- Secrecy creates a safe space for Ministers to present their best arguments without fear of media retaliation
- Process enables Cabinet to come to its best decision


Components of executive?

Executive branch includes the Queen, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the wider Ministry. Includes public service and agencies tasked with the day-to-day implementation of the laws.


Define executive?

The branch of government which carries out the law and makes policy on how law will be implemented. It is created by Chapter 2 of the Constitution but mostly governed by Westminster Conventions. In Westminster system it is indirectly elected and formed in the directly elected lower House.


Methods of reaching a decision in cabinet?

- Consensus (all members agree)
- Majority (most members agree)
- PM authority (PM, as leader of the government, imposes his will on the Cabinet)
- Party Room pressure (the wiser governing party's parliamentary members apply pressure to their own senior members or leader to obtain a decision they prefer


What is a front bencher?

A member of parliament who is not in cabinet or the ministry (the gov front bench), or a member of the opposition shadow front bench.


What is a backbencher?

The term used to describe the government ministers and the opposition shadow ministry. They occupy the front benches on either side of the central table in the HOR and Senate.


Sources of PM power?

- Being the leader of the majority party in the HOR
- Being the chairperson of Cabinet meetings
- Access to information
- Patronage
- Determining the election date
- Being the public face of government


Limitations of PM powers?

- Not having a personal mandate
- Lack of solidarity and unity in Cabinet
- Having rivals within Cabinet or the Parliamentary Party
- The constraints imposed by their own party
- The constraints imposed by a coalition party
- Federalism
- The size and nature of the House majority
- Negative media and polling
- Minority Government


Define Westminster chain of accountability?

Westminster Chain of Accountability is the links between the people and those who execute the laws that govern them.


Links of Westminster Chain of Accountability?

1. People directly elect a Parliament in a general election

2. The HOR chooses a government who then form Cabinet (government technically indirectly elected)

3. These Cabinet ministers head their appointed governments and provide policy direction

4. Government departments implement policy under their Minister's direction and provide advice to the Minister

5. The Parliament, representing the people, holds the Ministers accountable for their administration of government


Factors affecting the functioning of the Cabinet

- Personality and leadership style of the Prime Minister
- Relationships between Ministers
- Timing
- Nature of the Cabinet