Election speculation can serve to distract people from the policy issues and decisions being made which are directly affecting people’s lives. However, it is a significant issue, especially when it may lead to a double dissolution election which would immediately change the Senate’s make up.
Regardless of whether it’s a double dissolution or a normal half-Senate election, it is virtually a certainty that the Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate in their own right afterwards. This isn’t based on a judgement of how well the Greens will do. Rather, it is an absolute certainty that the Coalition will lose at least one Senate seat from Queensland at the next poll, which would take the balance of power away from the one or two independents, even if the Greens don’t win any extra seats – although it’s highly likely that they will. The main impact of a double dissolution is that it that this change in the Senate dynamic will happen straight away, rather than after June 30 2011.
I’ve written a longer piece on this for New Matilda which you can read by clicking on this link.