Prof Jenny Hocking: ‘Scott Morrison’s ministerial fetish: ”An unprecedented trashing of our democracy”’

Scott Morrison must resign immediately as the member for Cook, leave the Parliament, and try to salvage what remains of his shredded reputation as Australia’s 30th Prime Minister writes Prof Jenny Hocking.

Morrison’s secret appointment to at least five ministries – each of which was already held by an existing Minister – in concert with the Governor-General, is destructive of our system of responsible government, a deception of the Parliament, and an affront to the Australian people. Make no mistake about this bizarre, secret, usurpation of ministerial command of treasury, home affairs, finance, health, and resources; it is serious and disturbing.

Various commentators have depicted this as in some way being a shared arrangement, or a ‘back-up’ position – a ‘joint minister’, ‘sharing’ jobs, ‘co-ministers’ for example – this is not correct. A shared ministry would, at the very least, have required the knowledge of the other ‘co-minister’ – how could it be otherwise? -and only Greg Hunt knew of this private arrangement. It is difficult to see how these could be in any way shared Ministries if neither the other Minister, the public, nor the Parliament, were aware the arrangement even existed.

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