#auspol gets quite interesting

Here is our Prime Minister looking quite chipper yesterday:


He is announcing that something called a Double Dissolution Election may be coming our way as soon as 2 July 2016.

According to Australian Politics (an excellent site):

A key feature of a bicameral parliamentary system of government is the possibility that a deadlock may arise between the two houses of parliament.

In Australia, for a bill to become law, it must be passed by both houses of parliament, as prescribed by Section 58 of the Constitution:

When a proposed law passed by both Houses of Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure.

Australian governments generally control the numbers in the House of Representatives (the lower house). This is because the party or parties that win a majority of lower house seats form the government.

However, the proportional voting system used in the Senate means that governments generally do not control the Senate. The Senate may insist on amendments to government legislation passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate may also reject outright bills passed by the House…

One means of resolving conflict between the two houses of parliament is by means of a double dissolution of the Parliament.

A Double Dissolution of the Australian Parliament is allowed under Section 57 of the Australian Constitution…

Essentially, this section of the Constitution can be summarised as follows:

  1. House passes bill
  2. Senate rejects bill
  3. 3 months elapse
  4. House passes bill again
  5. Senate rejects bill again
  6. Prime Minister may advise Governor-General to dissolve both houses
  7. Assuming government is returned at election, House passes bill for the third time
  8. Senate rejects bill for the third time
  9. Joint Sitting may be held to finally resolve the disagreement between the houses

ABC’s The Drum has a handy “cheat sheet” on the particular issue chosen as the “trigger” and how it all may play out.

Australia has taken a step closer to a July 2 election fought on industrial relations, with the Prime Minister confirming that he will call a double dissolution should Parliament continue to block his agenda.

Both houses of Parliament will be recalled in April to deal with two bills which would re-establish the Howard-era Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and allow for greater monitoring of union activities.

It’s long been anticipated that these would be the key election battle lines…

Darwin constitutional lawyer Ken Parish has an interesting post: Proroguing Parliament, double dissolution elections and other constitutional delights.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a constitutional lawyer (except 1975 – but I was only a young lad then – and …).

Tony Abbott has already shown he could be sand in Malcolm Turnbull’s works…

Meantime it seems I turned off QandA last night too soon. (Frankly I was getting bored.) So I missed this…


A queer student has made an impassioned plea for politicians to stop using “in-pain children as political bullets” and stand up for the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, sparking a heated debate on the Q&A panel.

Key points:

  • Safe Schools program to be changed after concerns it was inappropriate for children
  • Student Carter Smith praises Victoria for standing by the program
  • He says the controversy is only doing further harm to at-risk kids
  • Jacqui Lambie says conservatives need to wake up to reality facing youth

The program, designed to teach students about sexual and gender diversity and combat homophobia, will undergo content changes and only be used in high schools after a Government review sparked by concerns from conservative MPs and senators.

Victoria has vowed to go it alone and implement the program without changes, a move praised by student Carter Smith, who said the notion it is “radical gender theory” was “absolutely ridiculous”…

“What [was] said earlier about young queer people having a high rate of suicide, trust me, I see it, it is very true,” he said.

Energy and Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said while he was “moved” by Carter’s comments and understood the mental health issues facing young people, he stood by the Government’s stance on Safe Schools.

He said the program contained the “controversial concept” that gender is fluid and can be self-selected…”

Mr Frydenberg asked Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews what his issue was with boosting parental engagement on the program – another recommendation of the review.

“I actually think, Daniel, it was completely outrageous of you to go out and criticise parents,” Mr Frydenberg said.

The remark prompted disbelief from Mr Andrews, who said: “I created the outrage?”

“Come on Josh, you don’t believe this. You’re not in the Cory Bernardi camp,” he added.

Asked how he felt about the debate, Carter said it was only doing further harm.

“I think the problem is politicians are using young, innocent, in-pain children as political bullets. That is unacceptable,” he said, to applause…

See my post Show some backbone, PM.

Now I am such a Marxist, eh! Why only a couple of days ago on this blog I was commending Robert Service’s Comrades: A World History of Communism (2007) to my readers! A Marxist I really am not, but I do embrace diversity as a core aspect of the human condition and commend any society or program that does the same. Hence on Twitter I wrote yesterday: “I totally support #safeschools.” I also retweeted: “RT @JoshThomas87: .@TurnbullMalcolm You’re turning out to be a real shit bloke.” Among others.

First, a really really good idea is to read the actual stuff that Safe Schools offers… 

I think it is brilliant and just wish that it had been there ten to fifteen years back when I was still tutoring and teaching and even on a high school welfare committee. Mind you there have been precursors like Bullying No Way and Racism No Way in NSW….