Well, here we are then. Malcolm Turnbull has his trigger for a double dissolution, and indications are that he is going to pull it in early May, for an election date of July 2, or, just possibly, July 9.
Before you get any further into this post, there is something you need to do. Yes, I’m being prescriptive about this, but I’m assuming that if you are here and reading this, it’s because you care about voting.
So first of all, please visit this link and make sure you are currently enrolled to vote at the right address and in the right electorate and with the right name. If you are not there, you can enrol online or through your local post office. You can also update your details online.
According to the AEC website, the electoral roll closes 7 calendar days after the writs are issued – that is, after the election is declared. If you are not enrolled at this point, you will not be able to vote, and you will also not be able to change any of your enrolment details after this point.
(I could have sworn it was three days only, but I can’t find information about this. My advice would be to get your enrolment sorted now – you lose nothing by being a little more organised, and you don’t want to risk losing your vote if I’ve got this wrong.)
Now for the announcement.
As you know, I usually spend the two weeks leading up to the election feverishly reading and reporting on the policies of every party on the Senate Paper (and not sleeping). That’s not going to be possible for me this year, because I’m going to be overseas for five weeks from May 24th – and I am not going to spend my hard-earned long-service leave reading and writing about politics. Sorry.
Apparently, close of nominations can be anything between 10 and 27 days after the election is called, so the earliest we could possibly know who is on the ballot paper will be May 16.
My plan is to create, as early as possible, a list of all parties who are running in this election, with links to their websites. I’ll also link to anything I’ve written about them in the past. And then I will do my level best to write about all the brand new parties and independents between now and the election. If, by some very unlikely chance, I have time, I will return to update the posts I wrote in 2014 about existing parties.
I’ll also be writing a post sometime in the next week or two about the new Senate Voting Rules, so that you know where you stand with those. (Not today, though, because I have laryngitis and my brains are made of marshmallows.)
I apologise for the reduced service this year – blame it on Malcolm Turnbull’s impatience! If he’d stuck to a proper electoral term and an election in September or October, there would not have been a problem…