The early election we had to have

Turnbull has trumped the ornery senate by using the Governor General’s powers to recall parliament under Section 5 of the Constitution.

He’s making it sound like a national emergency. Possibly, but it was also an emergency for him and his control of the party.

Bernard Keane at Crikey says Turnbull hopes the voters will see in his double dissolution strategy the decisiveness and boldness they expected from the Prime Minister – which has been so sorely lacking so far.

Keane says that Turnbull will also “be hoping both that the looming election date will instil more discipline in his backbench and cow Tony Abbott and his coterie from their campaign of destabilisation.”

There are reports by Lenore Taylor at The Guardian, at the ABC and Michelle Grattan with additional commentary here. See also Chris Uhlmann and links at the bottom of his piece.

From the ABC piece, cross-bench senators line up this way on the ABCC bill:


    Family First’s Bob Day


    Independent John Madigan
    Independent Jacqui Lambie
    Independent Glenn Lazarus


    Independent Nick Xenophon (has been broadly supportive in the past)
    Palmer United Party’s Dio Wang
    Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir
    Liberal Democrat’s David Leyonjhelm

Turnbull needs six of the eight, which I think is impossible. There’s been talk of the senate refusing to debate the bill, but legal opinion seems to favour this as still constituting a “failure to pass”.

So we have effectively a 15-week campaign period, starting now. The campaign proper will start pretty much coincide with Shorten’s budget reply speech, which he does rather well, if anyone is watching.

John Quiggin thinks Turnbull will lose.

New polling has the LNP in front 51-49 at Newspoll and Labor up 50.5 to 49.5 at Morgan, both too close to call.

According to Antony Green’s election pendulum, Labor needs to win 19 seats on a uniform swing. Only three in Queensland and none in WA, which gives me some comfort.

Turnbull says the election will be about more than unions – the whole economy, innovation and stuff.

Here’s a burst from Bill to ABC RN’s PM program:

    In today’s speech, Mr Turnbull outlined his priorities for the election. Not one mention of Medicare. Not one mention of schools. Not one mention of universities. Not one mention of childcare. Not one mention of TAFE’s and apprenticeships. And there was no mention at all of renewable energy.

    We’re ready to fight the election and we’ll fight it on the basis of Australian jobs. We’ll fight it on the basis of a fair taxation system, which prioritises a level playing field for first home buyers against property speculators.

    We will fight the election on critical issues of budget repair – critical issue important to Australian’s such as a properly funded school system and a Medicare system where it is your Medicare card not your credit card that determines the level of care you get.

    And we will fight it on climate change and real action to help tackle climate change through prioritising renewable energy.

Aaron Patrick in Credlin & Co says the real aim of the royal commission on unions was to kill Bill, and, he says, it pretty much succeeded. So we’ll see how the zombie goes!

9 thoughts on “The early election we had to have”

  1. That is just priceless, zoot.

    A mad man sees what he wants to see.

    Abbott is in a desert, but he sees rainforests and flowing rivers,..all of his own creation, which in fact they are as they reside only in his head.

  2. I’ll get popcorn too before the shops run out of it. But I might add some chilli to make it more interesting.

    Shorten must see this as his last chance.

  3. Good heavens!, m0nty made some sense in rebuttal of Quiggins ” excellent points “.

    Never thought I’d say that.

  4. Turnbull claims his innovation statement, the cities policy, the effects test, Senate voting reform as well as media ownership law reform as his achievements.

    Actually that’s not bad for the few months he’s been there.

  5. Good piece by Tim Dunlop:

    Dear media: Turnbull isn’t decisive, he’s desperate.


    All Mr Turnbull’s chopping and changing on tax policy; of letting Tony Abbott and his supporters have free rein in their sniping and undermining of him; of letting the likes of George Christensen and Cory Bernardi run him over on the Safe Schools scheme; of having no viable response to Labor’s new policy on negative gearing, was, we are asked to believe, just a ploy.

    So, apparently, was Mr Turnbull’s abandonment of the Republic, and his capitulation on marriage equality, where he is retaining Mr Abbott’s plan for a plebiscite, despite opponents of equal marriage – the very people within his party who insisted on a plebiscite in the first place – announcing that they wouldn’t abide by the results of it anyway.

  6. Well I expect a far left journalist ( ABC nach ) to dial it up to hyperdrive, Turnbull wasn’t as left as he portrayed and Shorten ( sorry ) Bill needs to go further left.

    Will be interesting to see the balance at the ABC during this campaign. They’re already trotting out the Australia Institute ” analysis ” on half the issues.

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