Tuesday, 22 March 2016

We could be heading for a double dissolution

election. The Prime Minister made a bold or a crazy move yesterday. He has brought forward the Budget by a week. He has advised that parliament will be recalled. He has advised that he will again try to get two pieces of legislation through the Senate. If they don't pass he has the "trigger" for a double dissolution - and a nine week election campaign.
Please, no. No and no again. 
It would be better for everyone to simply pass the legislation. If Labor wins the next election - due by the end of the year - they can simply dismantle it again. It is what they did once before.
The legislation is about curbing the excess power and bullying, threatening, and sometimes criminal, behaviour of some officials in the section of the union movement, especially those involved in the building and construction industry. 
I don't doubt there are many quite ordinary and decent people in the building industry. They get on with their jobs. They abide by the occupational health and safety rules of the site. If everyone did this there would be very few problems but we are dealing with humans so things don't always work out like this. A tiny minority of unionists still enjoy an excessive amount of power and they use it - not for the advantage of those they are supposed to represent but for themselves. Enough said.
But a double dissolution election  holds other concerns. There will be new voting rules for the way in which the Senate is elected. They are likely to be the subject of a  High Court challenge because the minor (some very minor) parties on the cross bench see themselves as likely to lose their seats. 
Make what you will of all that. I just see people determined to cling to excessive amounts of power.  It's not about health and safety or rights and conditions. It's not about the way the electorate voted. It's about them.
I don't want a double dissolution. I would much rather people just stopped thinking about themselves and represented the people they were elected to represent.


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