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HANGING ON: Tony Abbot has lost the confidence of many backbenchers, despite surviving a leadership spill vote 61-39.

Captain’s call just an educated guess

A remarkable similarity is evident in the leadership styles of Australia’s past three prime ministers.

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Comments

Perth
Is it their ego

The "Captain's Call" is something that is encouraging for the Australian voters. It shows us what the "person at the helm" actually thinks rather than the political rhetoric we are bombarded with by the spin doctors that all parties have that disseminate what they think we want to hear. Since the Captain's call usually bypasses all bureaucratic procedures and check points developed over a long period in the Westminster system is it in itself a statement of lack of support in the decision by the Captain's colleagues? It may even be considered a truth from that Captain, which is even rarer in the Australian political scene. I can hardly wait for the next one to emerge. Peter

Perth, WA Business News.
Peter, I am unable to think of a single justification for an Australian prime minister to need to make a Captain's Call. Cabinets should operate in a collegiate manner, meaning all ministers should be able to participate in all decision making. A prime minister is simply the first minister, and, crucially, he/she are that amongst equals. Another way of making this point is to contend that a cabinet should operate more like an orchestra than, say, a 19th century coal mine where there's a boss who issues orders to supervisors and they pass these on to the miners at the coal face. Unfortunately Australia's last three prime ministers are still back in the 19th century. All have not yet modernised their thinking and behaviour. Joseph Poprzeczny.

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