“Peak of her power”; “presidential style”; etc.

Early in the days of this blog, I spent a fair amount of time pointing out how dumb much of the standard media reporting on comparative (or, for that matter, US) politics is. For instance, this gem from Business Week:  “Merkel Dominating German Coalition Talks Attains Peak of Power.”

Doing so was the low-hanging fruit, so to speak.

Now I mostly can’t be bothered. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have at it…


One thought on ““Peak of her power”; “presidential style”; etc.

  1. Interesting recent article by Troy Bramston discussing the nearest thing Australia had to Dallas 1963 – Harold Holt disappearing while swimming

    “Within hours of Holt’s disappearance, Country Party leader and Deputy PM John “Black Jack” McEwen had manoeuvred to be sworn in as Prime Minister. […] At 6 PM on January 9, 1968, just hours after [John] Gorton became Liberal leader, McEwen opened a meeting of the Ministry at Parliament House. There was a problem. McEwen said he saw “a difficulty” in recommending to the Governor-General, Richard Casey, that Gorton be sworn in as Prime Minister. Gorton was a Senator from Victoria. No Senator had ever become Prime Minister. He did not hold a seat in the House of Representatives, where the Prime Minister must command majority support, according to convention. McEwen feared Casey might refuse to commission Gorton as Prime Minister. Australia faced a potential Constitutional crisis. […]
    The next day, January 10, 1968, Gorton was sworn in as Australia’s 19th Prime Minister. The Governor-General, despite McEwen’s fear, raised no objection to a Senator becoming Prime Minister, even if it was without precedent.[…]”

    – Troy Bramston, “John ‘Black Jack’ McEwen – caretaker of the country”, The Weekend Australian (9-10 November 09, 2013), p 16, URL: http://t.co/LZEPb7p6je.

    A rather curious beat-up since the Constitution requires only that a Minister (including the PrM) become a member of either House within 3 months, which Gorton certainly did, winning the seat Holt vacated. (Gorton was not yet enrolled in that district and is thus as far as I know the last Australian Prime Minister to have been legally barred from voting for himself on election day…). The article, while informative, is also marred by its following the (admittedly standard, but also annoying) usage of “Member of Parliament” or “MP” as synonymous with “Member of the House of Representatives” and thus such odd locutions as “Gorton was not a Member of Parliament, only a Senator”. (It is worse in the UK where the long tradition of Monarchs sending Anglican synod chapters a congé d’elire directing them whom to elect as Bishops violates Article 8 of the 1688-89 Bill of Rights (“That election of members of Parliament ought to be free”), not just in relation to archiepiscopal vacancies for Canterbury and York (who automatically got seats in the House of Lords), but also for any Bishopric of the established state church, since any other Anglican bishop could, if he ended up among the 24 longest-serving, end up sitting in the upper chamber of Parliament.

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