Demand for double dissolution election is wide of the mark

23 August 2011

Associate Professor Anne Twomey explains the concept of a double dissolution election, following the convergence of truck drivers on Canberra calling for it to take place.

"Truck drivers have converged upon Canberra demanding that the Governor-General call a double dissolution election.

"But unless the truckies manage to create such a vortex driving around Canberra's circular avenues that they overthrow the constitution as well as the government, they are not going to succeed," Associate Professor Twomey writes in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald.

"A ''double dissolution'' means both Houses are dissolved and re-elected from scratch.

"This is extremely unusual.

"While the House of Representatives is regularly dissolved, with a maximum term of three years, the Senate is an ongoing body which is ordinarily not dissolved.

"Senators from each state are elected for six-year terms, with half of them facing election every three years and the other half continuing.

"Regardless of when half-Senate elections are held, new Senators take their places on a fixed date.

"So, unless there is a double dissolution, the present Senate, in which the Greens hold the balance of power, will continue until June 30, 2014 (except for the four Territory Senators, whose terms are the same in the House of Representatives).

View the entire article - Demand for double dissolution election is wide of the mark - Sydney Morning Herald

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