Judging from what I’ve read, it seems I am more open than most in thinking there is a credible possibility that the Prime Minister might call an early double dissolution election – assuming the political environment at the time suits it (and assuming he gets a trigger). A chance to strengthen their Lower House majority while immediately reducing the difficulty in getting measures through the Senate would be tempting.
However, the latest speculation that the government is considering recalling the Senate on or after December 10th so they can get a double dissolution trigger from a second rejection of the private health insurance legislation is ludicrous. It is hard to believe anyone would treat this story as credible.
Firstly, they would have to get the Senate to agree to the extra sittings, which is highly doubtful. Secondly, it is unlikely the redistribution in New South Wales would have concluded by then, which would mean some unnecessarily messy issues surrounding pre-selections and interim boundaries.
And thirdly, whilst I think the government could call a double dissolution election if the circumstances were right, it is inconceivable that this could ever involve calling an election in December, which would run through Christmas and New Year; or anytime in January while the school holidays were still on.
Given Parliament normally resumes early in February, there is no reason why the government couldn’t wait until then, and put the private health insurance legislation up for debate first. An early election would only work for the government if they were able to convince the electorate it was justified. This could be possible in some circumstances, but not in a situation where the government takes unprecedented steps in an effort to speed up the process.