Quicklink: Antony Green on constitutional realities

Hung Parliament – Where to From Here?

Last weekend Australians thought they were voting on who would form government. If Labor or the Coalition had won a clear majority, this would have been a reasonable summary of what the election was about.

But with neither side having gained a majority in their own right, the murky world of government formation under our system of unwritten constitutional conventions has been exposed to the light.

He lays it out as an FAQ:

Q: Can we go straight to another election?
Q: If the Opposition can produce an agreement with the Independents, does the Gillard government have to resign?
Q: What happens if neither side make an agreement with the cross benches?
Q: Would we have an early election if the government fell after a few months?
Q: Would there be another Senate election?
Q: Could any agreement with the Independents fix the term of Parliament?
Q: Will there be a vote on who forms government when the House first meets?

I’m sure some of the answers will come as a great surprise to some of the loudest voices in the punditocracy.

Tim Dunlop also has some Quick thoughts on the interregnum.

Categories: law & order, parties and factions

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