Double dissolution blow for Rudd
KEVIN Rudd's plans for an early double dissolution election have been sunk, with the discovery of a legal defect in his Emissions Trading Scheme.
The Clerk of the Senate, Harry Evans, is understood to have confirmed that even if Mr Rudd were to go to a double dissolution election to get his ETS through Parliament, the scheme could still be blocked by the Senate.
Mr Evans an expert on Senate practice is understood to have based his argument on the fact that most of the ETS relies not on law, but on regulation.
The Standing Orders of the Parliament state those regulations could still be struck down by the Senate even if the laws establishing the ETS were passed at a joint sitting of Parliament following a double dissolution election.
The same thing happened to Bob Hawke in relation to the Australia Card back in 1987.
He won the election and was preparing for a joint sitting of the Parliament when it was discovered by the Opposition that the start-up date for the card was governed by regulation and a hostile Senate would vote it down.
In a humiliating backdown, Mr Hawke had to abandon the ID card.
Mr Evans believes Mr Rudd is now in the same position.
The Opposition will almost certainly lose the next election, whenever it is held. If this news is correct, the Opposition should now firmly reject this disaster of a bill at both Senate votes, and save the country from the worst piece of legislation in living memory.
Read it here (and here).