Opinion

Grappling with the realities of a national cabinet

John Warhurst
By John Warhurst
Updated July 1 2021 - 4:18pm, first published March 25 2020 - 1:00pm
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian from the telepresence room at Parliament House. Picture: Getty Images

The new kid on the block among political institutions is the national cabinet, which might be governing us for the next six months or more. The term is a misnomer, as it is not actually a cabinet but more like a special purpose Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting - what some have called a rolling COAG - known previously as the Premiers Conference. It is very different from the Advisory War Council, the war cabinet formed during World War II, which was a cross-party cabinet made up of members drawn from the Federal Parliament, government and opposition. The differences are not just semantics - they have practical consequences.

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John Warhurst

John Warhurst

Canberra Times columnist

John Warhurst is an emeritus professor of political science at the Australian National University and a regular columnist for The Canberra Times.

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