The Secret Powers of an Australian Prime Minister, Now Revealed

SYDNEY, Australia — Most Australians are proud of their Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, in which ministers are empowered to decide how wide swaths of the government operate. Preferring a collaborative politics, they abhor the centralized pomp and power of the American presidency — which is exactly why revelations this week about the country’s Trump-friendly former prime minister have unleashed a volcano of criticism.

Turns out, the blustery leader that Australia chose to evict from office in May, Scott Morrison, had elevated himself to new heights. After Covid arrived in March of 2020, he wasn’t just the prime minister. He swore himself in as a second health minister, finance minister, resources minister and home affairs minister, along with appointing himself co-treasurer. And he kept his new roles a secret from the public and most of his colleagues in Parliament.

“I cannot conceive of the mind-set that has created this,” said Anthony Albanese, the current…

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This article was written by Damien Cave and originally published on www.nytimes.com