What’s in a number?

Commentators are analysing Naitonal’s new cabinet and it won’t be long before someone looks at the numbers.

One is important, so too are those which follow it closely and you have to have a front bench.

But I don’t think there’s anything to be achieved by close analysis of where Ministers are ranked.

They can’t all be number one or on the front bench. Where they are in the rankings may help or hurt their egos but it’s not necessarily a reflection on them or the importance of the portfolios they hold.

While no-one would argue that racing is as important as health it’s more difficult to differentiate between most of the roles so there’s nothing to be gained by anguishing over the rankings.

It’s not the number in front of their name but the job they do with the ministry after it which really matters. Good ministers will ensure their portfolios are important and get the attention they warrant regardless of where they’re ranked.

5 Responses to What’s in a number?

  1. davidp says:

    Why bother ranking them at all? The British don’t and neither do the Aussies, as far as I can see.


  2. homepaddock says:

    David – the numbers denote where they sit in parliament, do you know how they work that out in Britain and the UK?


  3. davidp says:

    The UK seems to be a bit of a scrum. I don’t believe they have enough seats in the Commons if everyone turns up at the same time. I’m guessing that it is first come first served, altho I’m presuming that people defer to let senior MPs sit up front.

    But I still don’t get the numbering. I have an allocated seat at work. Because I’m a senior member of the team, then I get to sit closer to a window than some others. But we didn’t need to be ranked by number in order to do that. Similarly, you could announce a Ministry by alphabetical order, then let people sit where they wanted to.


  4. homepaddock says:

    David – You’re right, you don’t need a number to show where you sit and in the last term the new National MPs were in alpahbetical order.


  5. […] I posted earlier it’s not where a Minister is ranked but the job s/he does with the Minsitry which […]


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