To suit themselves, largely. Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon and his mate Stirling Griff, plus Jacqui Lambie will get six-year terms. The rest of the crossbench will have to front up again next election.
The Greens, who had argued for a ‘fairer’ method, lose out. Only Richard Di Natale, Scott Ludlam and Peter Whish-Wilson get 6-year terms.
Scroll down this ABC link to check the names of all the 3-year and 6-year senators.That leaves the 3-year numbers at 16 LNP, 13 Labor, 3 Greens and 4 Others. Territories, which have two senators each are not included, because Territory senators’ terms commence on the date of their election and end on the day of the next election.
Kevin Bonham goes into the issue at some length. In short there are three facts we have to work around.
Firstly, the Constitution provides that the Senate itself must decide who gets six years in the case of a double dissolution.
Secondly, traditionally senators’ terms of office have been allocated according to the order in which senators were elected in each state during the double dissolution, which, of course only requires a half quota. The LNP and Labor have decided to use this method for the 2016 election.
Thirdly, the Hawke government created a reform known as Section 282 which requires a recount of the votes using the full quotas used in the a half-senate election. Such a recount is specified in the Electoral Act, so it will be done, but the results will be academic.
For the full gruesome detail of how the recount is done and why it’s different from an actual half-senate election, see Antony Green.
Most fair-minded people think Section 282 is a better way, as it replicates they way quotas would be filled and preferences would flow in a half-senate election.
To ensure this happens we should have a referendum and change the Constitution, but the chances of that happening are close to zero. No-one has kicked up enough fuss about it.
Derryn Hinch wants each party elected in each state to have at least one representative. That would suit him best, but it would not be more democratic.