Glad to see this spelt out clearly. If Abbott wins the election next year, and the Senate refuses to pass his legislation repealing the carbon tax, he will not hesitate to call a double dissolution.
For our overseas readers, under the Australian constitution, if the Senate votes down a government bill twice, the government may call an election in which both houses of Parliament (Senate and House of Representatives) are dissolved and re-elected. See here for more information on this procedure.
The issue for a potential incoming Abbott government is that the Senate would still be controlled by the Labor/Greens, who are likely to resist any attempt to repeal the carbon tax:
Australians will head quickly back to the polls if the Coalition wins the next federal election but fails to persuade the Senate to repeal the carbon tax, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott warned yesterday.
A jubilant Mr Abbott said the carbon tax had played a role in the Liberal National Party’s overwhelming victory at the Queensland election which saw Labor’s presence in the state Parliament reduced to about seven MPs.
Outgoing Queensland premier Anna Bligh and her predecessor Peter Beattie insisted the election had been fought on state issues but both urged their interstate and federal Labor colleagues to quickly learn from the humiliating defeat.
Mr Abbott said the carbon tax had been one of the issues which had contributed to former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman’s election success. He said a federal Coalition government would do whatever was necessary to repeal the carbon tax, including calling a double dissolution election.
But Mr Abbott doubted a Labor opposition would ”commit suicide twice” by supporting the tax in the Senate. [I wouldn’t bet on it, Tony, given their record of incompetence and stupidity – Ed]
”If I’m wrong, if an incoming Coalition government can’t get its carbon tax repeal legislation through the Senate, well, we will not hesitate to go to a double dissolution,’‘ he told Sky News. (source)
It’s hilarious how Labor and Bligh are desperately portraying this defeat as a minor local difficulty, without any federal ramifications, especially when a survey of Queensland voters put “energy prices” at the top of their list of concerns – something directly influenced by mad green climate policies pursued by Labor at a federal level.
Oh well, let them go on believing that if they wish – the last thing we want is for them to come to their senses.