Thursday, July 26, 2007

Howard: Concentrated Power

John Howard loves to centralise his power. He does not like State Labor Governments. He likes to behave, and present himself, Presidentially. He bears himself up, he sees off the troops he sends, even though he is NOT Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as is President Bush. HIs Presidential style could be to impress George W Bush; or to be compared to George W Bush. There is some irony in that "Presidential" style: he is, after all, a monarchist.

He has concentrated poweer in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC), and in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Ministers and members of the Government do not make statements without having them approved by his office.

He has shown himself to be an idealogue. He decided to use Corporations Law to make Work Choices; he is considering using it, or passing specific legislation, to take control of water. He announced his takeover of Aboriginal settlements in the NT, becasue he could.

In all of these things, he has "announced", then tried to force the hand of States and Territories. There has been no consultative cooperation with the States: he announces.