A double dissolution?

A double dissolution is a unique Australian parliamentary device which enables a government repeatedly frustrated by the Senate to call an election for the whole Senate and the lower house all at the same time. In normal circumstances, only half the Senate seats are up for re-election. The Rudd government is now in a position to call a double dissolution. But will it?

Kevvy himself does not seem keen and you can see why. The Senate is elected on proportional representation and with twice as many seats as usual up for grabs, the Greens would almost certainly get seats from every State, many more than they usually get in half-Senate elections. And Greens mostly take seats off Labor. So the new Senate would probably still not have a Labor party majority. And Kevvy is enough of a wonk to know that without being told. And the Greens are just as opposed to Rudd's climate scheme as the conservatives are -- though for opposite reasons. And big Senate gains would make the Greens even more ornery than they already are, so Rudd would have a very difficult Senate to deal with for at least 3 and probably 6 years. One can hear Rudd saying "Aaaargh!" to that. To date, Rudd has preferred to do deals with the conservatives rather than the very self-righteous and obstinate Greens

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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