Saturday, September 07, 2013

Ex Ex Executive

For someone who likes to think I'm engaged in the political process, I had never heard of the Vice President of the Executive Council. I knew about the postmaster general even if I didn't know all their duties and areas of responsibility. I have a fair idea what the attorney general stands for, even if I'm not aware at what points, and for what reason, the position might seek to intercede in matters that were at a state or local level.
I'm not an expert and it's not my passion, despite the many hours I've wasted.

But, yes, I know about VPs of various denominations, and I've heard of an Executive Council, just not this one. There had been briefly a department but Hawkie got rid of that.

If slipping under the radar of news and current affairs, on account of its ceremonial nature, it is a position of prestige and great responsibility. Deputising for the Governor General - it doesn't go much higher in executive hierarchy than that.

The position, held by my count by five Prime Ministers, one Lord Mayor, a couple of leaders of the Senate, whip, leader of the Opposition, Premiers,  and so forth (throw in a mentor or two), has nonetheless seen a high turnover; 56 ministers in 112 years. That's an average of one every two years.

It has been the role of a husband and wife, Joseph and Dame Enid Lyons. Speaking of which, the knight rate is through the roof. Dame End was the first woman in the House of Representatives and, when she was in the Vice Presidential role, did only that. The usual pattern was to give this ministerial responsibility to someone with a busy portfolio as this would take up less of their time.

Twenty eight members of the Lower House have been selected, and twenty eight Senators. An exact even split.

Early patterns suggested it might have been the Senate that they drew from, with the first four being Senators, one MHR, a further five senators..


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