What is Double dissolution in Australia?, Australia Prime Minister Election 2016, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia PM Elections News Updates Opinion Poll

Last Modified: May 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm

What is Double dissolution in Australia?, Australia Prime Minister Election 2016, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia PM Elections News Updates Opinion Pol

Australian Prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, asked for a Double Dissolution here on Sunday, May 9, after meeting the Governor General (equivalent to president in India) Sir Peter Cosgrove. This calls for an early election on July 2, 2016 way early of the scheduled elections later this year. This will be the first Double Dissolution election in almost 30 years, last being in 1987. The early date of election leaves the coalition with the 55-day marathon election campaigning for the Prime Ministerial berth

What is Double Dissolution?

Section 57 of the Commonwealth Constitution provides the conditions (called Trigger) for Double Dissolution. Whenever there is a disagreement between the two houses of Australian legislature – House of Representative and Senate – over a proposed bill, the prime minister can recommend for Double Dissolution to the Governor General. The Governor General, as a convention, declares Double Dissolution only on the advice of the prime minister and calls for re-election. After the re-election, if the disagreement over the bill still continues between the two houses, then a joint sitting of the two houses can be called to vote on the bill.

What happened?

Coalition’s (Turnbull’s Government) budget released last week was met with fierce opposition from the opposition Labor party in the Australian parliament. The budget provided for a reduction in corporate tax as well as huge tax breaks to the country’s largest companies. Bill Shorten, opposition leader, called Turnbull’s policies as that “reward millionaires” while threatening all Australian’s living standard.

But the focal point of contention between the two parties was the revival of Australian Building and Construction commission (ABCC), a watchdog over the construction sector. A more union-friendly Labor government had already revamped the ABCC into Fair Work Building and Construction in 2012, cutting back some aspects of its power.

Way ahead

Prime Minister Turnbull in his media briefing, soon after the declaration of Double Dissolution, appealed to the voters to support an economic plan that promises economic growth for all.

For now the election would be between a conservative Liberal-National coalition that offers revived Australian economy and a centre-left Labor that promises redistribution of economic wealth.

Popular opinion polls conducted by various agencies predict a close fight between the two. Seven-ReachTEL predicted a neck-to-neck fight with both the parties getting 50% support based on two party preferred basis while Galaxy Research predicted 49% and 51% for Coalition and Labor respectively.

The main issues, however, for this year’s election would be a flagging Australian economy and the hot-button issues like policy on asylum seekers.