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Double dissolution

March 21st, 2016

Apparently, we are likely to have one, unless the Senate passes the legislation to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission. I predicted a month ago that the Turnbull government will lose office, and I’m more confident now (though far from 100 per cent) than I was when I made the prediction. So, I’ll leave it at that, and open the topic up for discussion.

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  1. Jim
    March 21st, 2016 at 15:52 | #1

    Bill Shorten got a policy spine for Christmas, and he doesn’t seem to be afraid to use it.

    Malcolm Turnbul got a political weather vane for Christmas. Unfortunately it only blows to the right, when Malcolm really wants it to blow to the left.

    I don’t think I share John’s optimism for an ALP victory, but I suspect it is going to be very close.

  2. Newtownian
    March 21st, 2016 at 16:20 | #2

    One can hope. And it is agreed that much gloss has washed off Turnbull…..though I have yet to see the photoshopped photos of him wearing a Donald wig.

    Three wild cards I guess are the:

    1- the budget which still needs to be implemented and played out.
    2- overseas developments – in the both the US and UK the conservative forces are displaying their inherent nastiness as dominant whether or not there are some nice Tories. Meanwhile in the US the Donald as president appears as a more and more likely insane possibility. This has got to be worth a percentage point or two for discrediting the forces of the right here.
    3- In NSW the Baird goverment is being increasingly recognised as nasty and vindictive so their gloss is wearing off which might be worth a point of two.

    But being a pessimist I still wonder if your prediction is a little too good to be true given the forces of Murdoch etc. stacked against the alternative.

    The only resolution I can see is for the formation here of a statistically credible predictor system like 538 in the US. They arent perfect but I’d back them before Anthony Green.

  3. bjb
    March 21st, 2016 at 17:21 | #3

    If nothing else, the LNP has given the ALP plenty to work with – Gonski, NBN, uni fees, Medibank, tax policy. The LNP lied their way into office last time, so hopefully the ALP and Greens can hold them accountable despite whatever Rupert may have in mind.

  4. Ikonclast
    March 21st, 2016 at 17:42 | #4

    Well, I wouldn’t have thought it possible for the ALP and Shorten to win. But the LNP and Turnbull are making them look good so anything is possible. Turnbull has not even the substance of an empty woodpile. He’s more an empty toothpick box.

  5. Pete Moran
    March 21st, 2016 at 18:22 | #5

    Still a long way to go yet.

    Senate has to agree to its own timetable of sittings. They might say ‘no’ on 19 April.

  6. Douglas Hynd
    March 21st, 2016 at 18:23 | #6

    An ultra extended election period has rarely worked well for government – if people get fed up they tend to blame the government – we now have a de facto 3 months in election mode

  7. Paul Foord
    March 21st, 2016 at 18:30 | #7

    If there is a double dissolution, what would be the first date that the Senate could consider the LNP Government Budget that was handed down on 3 May 2016?

  8. Dave
    March 21st, 2016 at 18:45 | #8

    Labor paying $5 to win on Betfair today, giving an implied probability of 20%. Good chance to make some money if you’re right.

  9. Joy
    March 21st, 2016 at 19:35 | #9

    Why oh why do the masses believe that the Coalition are the better economic managers? What can be done to convince them that this is a totally discredited myth and that the neo-lib style of economics is a complete disaster for all but the really wealthy and for big business?

  10. John Goss
    March 21st, 2016 at 19:37 | #10

    Until the announcement today, I thought there was a good chance a Labor winning quite a few seats off the Coalition. But now I think Labor are snookered.
    The Coalition are going to have quite a sellable tax policy after the Budget with closing off of some superannuation rorts, increasing tobacco tax, restructuring the wine tax and reducing company tax in a selective way so as to favour small business and high tech industries. And if Peter Martin is correct they will be pushing infrastructure in a big way funded by 30 year bonds. And they will also have a scare campaign on the unions and negative gearing.
    To counter this Labor have very little especially given that some of their good policies like tobacco tax increases, restructuring wine taxes, superannuation rort crack downs and infrastructure spending increases will/have been stolen.
    Hopefully Labor will pull back 5 or 6 seats, but they could lose some too. Some of the Sydney seats are looking fragile.

  11. BilB
    March 21st, 2016 at 20:20 | #11

    Yes Joy, why oh why. I suspect ig is because they still have the chant of Howard telling them so echoing around in there heads, and Labour is aweful at saying the opposite. Though Bill Shorten did a damned good job of doing just that today.

  12. Doug Steley
    March 21st, 2016 at 21:10 | #12

    Shorten should wedge Turnbull by proposing a standing federal anti corruption commission with powers to investigate Unions, Businesses, Corporations, the Legal Professions and Politicians.

    Wide ranging powers with the same penalties for everyone, from large fines ( Enough to actually hurt companies ) to jail terms for individuals who are found to be responsible for corrupt acts.

  13. March 21st, 2016 at 21:39 | #13

    Labor should just pass the double dissolution legislation. I mean, pretend they won’t, but just do it. Delay as long as possible, and then pass it. There is no chance that the Australian Building and Construction Commission will do anything bad in the lead up to an election, for that would hand the ALP the election on a plate. But whether or nor the ABCC does anything, there it is, a living reminder of what will happen, only worse, under a coalition government.

    Then the Libs have no election and no policies and have to stew until September or later for an election while they are in disarray, and their popularity dives.

  14. March 21st, 2016 at 21:41 | #14

    @John Goss

    Nah. I can’t see them spinning gold out of the budget. They won’t go after the targets that deserve to be tackled, and they will be giving out tax cuts that they know they can’t afford. Instead of looking generous, it will smack of desperation.

  15. jrkrideau
    March 21st, 2016 at 21:49 | #15

    @Joy
    Why oh why do the masses believe that the Coalition are the better economic managers?

    This seems to be a mantra in many countries. It certainly is heard in the main stream press Canada in face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Over the last thirty or so years we have seen left-leaning govenments cleaning up right-wing financial messes repeatedly at the provincial level and we survived 2008 in reasonably good shape mainly because the Cons had not managed to gut the Federal banking legislation–they were a minority gov’t at the time.

    Of course, if your job depends on saying that or having the Owner fire you….

  16. Collin Street
    March 21st, 2016 at 22:40 | #16

    Wide ranging powers with the same penalties for everyone, from large fines ( Enough to actually hurt companies ) to jail terms for individuals who are found to be responsible for corrupt acts.

    The proper match for a jail sentence for a corporate entity is the surrender-of-control that a jail sentence represents: if your company kills someone, put it under government control for ten or twenty years.

  17. March 22nd, 2016 at 00:26 | #17
  18. paul walter
    March 22nd, 2016 at 07:09 | #18

    Yes, Joy. We all wonder the same thing. They, from Murdoch down, are convinced that control and having money are the solution to life’s problems and most of their legislation is about cronyism and pilfering whilst avoiding the exposure of which puts the fear of god into them.

    The IPA Industrial relations suite, like surveillance and arbirary detention, is better treated as manifestation of a deformed, criminal mentality than any attempt to deal efficiently in the true sense, fairly, as to real world problems.

    I also think of all it reeks of bastardry and have no hesitation in including another thought out view on this subject for readers consideration: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2016/03/21/proroguing-parliament-double-dissolution-elections-and-other-constitutional-delights/

  19. rog
    March 22nd, 2016 at 07:11 | #19

    On 7.30 last night Turnbull was struggling to restrain his obvious enthusiasm for himself. It will be a long campaign with many opportunities for overreach, a Turnbull failing.

  20. paul walter
    March 22nd, 2016 at 07:22 | #20

    Why is it that Australians are unable to learn or understand the writing on the wall; the lessons of history. Six years ago the Cameron government got elected and imposed Austerity in a vicious way. So what did the Australian public do in response to reports on Cameronism?

    Put in Abbott.

    Rudd and co prevented the Meltdown impacting here and Gillard did the best she could, but whatever the flaws of Labor, and they have been considerable, did we ever see before anything the like of what eventuated with Abbott?

    Yet the apparent (il)literacy/cognition problems afflicting much of the population continue, full blown. One day, when we are reduced to unexperienced third world standards of life, we will curse ourselves for our laziness in this era: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/21/stephen-crabb-government-u-turns-disability-cuts-leaves-budget-disarray

    Kerr’s 1975 indeed reasserts itself, even a Malcolm superficially different but underlyingly the same, the same in mark 1 and mark 2 forms. Never mind, she’ll be apples…

  21. Ivor
    March 22nd, 2016 at 07:51 | #21

    However I understand there is, in preparation, a High Court challenge to the new Senate voting system.

    So can the Electoral Commission run a July DD based on the new voting rules?

    If he does, what happens if the High Court strikes out the new rules or part of them?

    Turnbull would be mad to have a DD under previous rules.

  22. Salient Green
    March 22nd, 2016 at 08:05 | #22

    I Think the crossbench should pass the bill, after plenty of time wasting.
    Turnbull wants an early election and he wants to clear out the crossbench. These are more important to him than passing the ABCC legislation. I think it would frustrate him immensely for the Senate to acquiesce and any political mileage he gains from a win will be gone by the time of a later election.
    As John Brookes said above, they can’t do much harm before the election and Labor can promise to transform the Commission into a much wider dealing corruption body. I think Labor are in with a real chance to win.

  23. Salient Green
    March 22nd, 2016 at 08:31 | #23

    After further reading I find that there are two other potential triggers for a DD if Turnbull wants it badly enough. I don’t know enough to tell whether careful/cunning tactics by the Senate could prevent a DD or not.

  24. paul walter
    March 22nd, 2016 at 08:54 | #24
  25. Tim Macknay
    March 22nd, 2016 at 11:38 | #25

    @Ivor
    The likelihood is that the High Court will expedite the matter rather than delay a July DD. The chances of the challenge succeeding are minimal.

  26. Peter Evans
    March 22nd, 2016 at 12:16 | #26

    I’ve seen no media mention of the fact July 2 is during school holidays (Australia-wide, except SA). Not a show-stopper, but certainly added niggle. I think it would be the first federal election to be held during school holidays since 1974. There’s a reason for that, the perception being that it annoys people just a little bit more. July 9 is Aust-wide too, so a DD that avoids a 2018 half-senate election is only possible during holidays.

  27. J-D
    March 22nd, 2016 at 12:55 | #27

    @paul walter

    I suspect that most people pay little if any attention to the experience of other countries when deciding how to vote, and I don’t think that’s a pattern particular to this country or to this era. (You write that ‘Australians are unable to learn or understand’, but I don’t think Australians are different from people elsewhere in this respect; you write that ‘we will curse ourselves for our laziness in this era’, but I don’t think other eras have been different.)

  28. rog
    March 22nd, 2016 at 13:31 | #28
  29. Jim
    March 23rd, 2016 at 08:30 | #29

    @rog Rog

    That piece by Tim Dunlop is pure gold.

  30. Ron E Joggles
    March 28th, 2016 at 11:56 | #30

    John Brookes :
    Labor should just pass the double dissolution legislation.

    I think that’s a really good idea, but how would Labor convince the hardheads in the unions to cop it sweet? Labor will need the support of the unions more than ever to have any chance of winning the next election, whenever it is.

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