Miniature Cabinet

Australia’s Prime Minister-Elect Tony Abbott has nominated his new front bench and filled the cabinet with 19 ambitious souls.

That seems like a lot of people to have around a table to agree on anything so I extracted my copy of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia and flipped to Section 51 which defines the matters in which the Parliament may legislate. I won’t go through all of them here as you can read them at the web site of Parliament House. Suffice to say that there are 40 of them; a few of them not requiring specific portfolios.

I’ve thrown all the sub-sections into the cage, spun the ball and grouped the sub-sections according to which main aspect of government would be appropriate.

Ministry Sub-Sections Description
Prime Minister
Foreign Affairs xxxix, xxx Doesn’t sign UN treaties.
Treasurer xii Sits on money. Prints some.
Defence vi Protects from external threats
Finance ii, iii, iv, xvi Gets the money.
Trade i, ix, xiii, xiv, xv, xvii1, xx Internal and external trade matters. Intellectual property. Quarantine.
Population xi, xix, xxi, xxii, xxvi, xvii1, xxviii, xxviiia Ensures we’re all happy little vegemites or as unhappy as we choose to be. Keeps out the naughty people and those who don’t respect our lifestyle.
Natural Resources x Fisheries, minerals, water and other natural resources.
Connective Infrastructure v, vii, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxiv Communications and national transport.
Attorney General xxiv, xxv, xxxi Supports the rule of law and manages fair dealing with States.

That’s it… still a couple more than ideal. Note that (xvii) Bankruptcy needs to be dealt with differently for corporate and personal bankruptcies; so the matter is under the responsibility of either cabinet minister.

Five pizzas should be enough if they have to send out for lunch.

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