Double dissolution trigger “just in case”

The Abbott Government is setting up a double dissolution “trigger” by putting the same climate change-related bill before the Senate more than three months after a previous rejection. Section 57 of the Constitution allows the government to request an election to overcome a deadlock between the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, the Australian Financial Review reported that a “senior source” within the government said the trigger was there “just in case”, and “[i]t’s not our intention to use it”. Professor Anne Twomey said the government would be reluctant to call a double dissolution election because “it would be likely to make it even harder for the Coalition to negotiate bills through the Senate. Because 12 Senators would be elected in a State, rather than six, the quota for winning a seat would be lower… [T]he likely outcome of a double dissolution in the next 6 months would be to increase the number of cross-benchers holding the balance of power in the Senate”.