[EM] Elections to cabinets

Tom Round T.Round at mailbox.gu.edu.au
Sun Aug 22 18:17:33 PDT 1999

David, here's one possible model I doodled on an envelople a few years ago
-- it's a combination of the European Union (EU) and Australia's National
Union of Students (NUS -- no, they don't include the A ...)

1.	Chief Exec (president/ PM) first elected by majority vote of whole

2.	A "council of state" then elected by PR vote of whole assembly. Say, 24
members. (To impose a de facto "threshold" under STV, one could prescribe
that members are elected in 1 or more separate ballotings for a maximum of,
say, 10 seats each time. So if the C of S had 24 members, one would vote
for 10 seats, then 10 seats, then 4 seats, and the quota could not drop
below 9.09%.)

3.	The CE allocates Ministerial portfolios. No non-member of the C of S may
be appointed a Minister. Of course practicability will dictate that a
certain number must be appointed Ministers so they don't die of overwork
... (-;

4.	The Ministers then form an "Executive Committee of the C of S" (I think
this was the official name for the Cabinet in the UK legislation that gave
Northern Ireland self-govt from 1922 to 1972).

5.	The Exec Ctee is the Cabinet proper (may deliberate in secret, etc)
while the full Council is more a ceremonial body like the UK Privy Council
-- eg it could collectively deputise while the Presidency is vacant, as in
Ireland and Austria.

6.	A quorum for a valid meeting of the Exec Ctee shall be, say, 40% of the
total number of C of S members. (Eg, if 24 Councillors of State, this means
a Cabinet must have 10 members.)

This should all mean that the CE gets to appoint a Cabinet that
proportionately reflects the governing party or coalition. At the same
time, of course, the informal pressures to ensure a "balanced ticket" are
still quite strong even when the Cabinet is elected by a majority vote of
the governing party's caucus (eg, the Aust Labor Party) or even appointed
by the PM alone.

At 10:45 AM 8/23/99 +1000, you wrote:
>An interesting subject... A cabinet election system would need the
>following features-
>Represents only "one side of the room" (this is the most contentious
>feature, so it goes first...)
>Proportionately represents that one side of the room
>Incorporates these concepts of at-large (at-half?) proportionality while
>having different selections for different portfolios (and incorporating
>ministers'-to-be preferences).
>It might be easier to begin the exposition with a "caucus" election system
>(that used by a party caucus to select a cabinet) which would not
>incorporate the minority exclusion feature.
>Any ideas?

Tom Round
BA (Hons), LL.B (UQ)
Research Associate -- Key Centre for Ethics, 
	Law, Justice and Governance (KCELJAG)
(incorporating the National Institute for Law, Ethics and Public Affairs)
HUM[anities] Building, Room 1.10, Nathan Campus
Griffith University, Queensland [Australia] 4111
Ph:	07 3875 3817
Fax:	07 3875 6634
E-mail: 	T.Round at mailbox.gu.edu.au
Web:	http://www.gu.edu.au/centre/kceljag/

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