Thursday, December 3, 2009

The NSW spill plus no chance of an early NSW election.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees is to face a leadership spill at 6pm today. Mr Rees had the following to say "Should I not be Premier by the end of the day, let there be no doubt any challenger will be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi, and that is the reality,"

Some people have said that Nathan Rees should dissolve parliament and call an election to let the people of NSW choose a Government they have faith in. The problem with this is that NSW has fixed election dates with the next not due until March 2011. There's only 3 things that would make  an early election possible.
1. Hold a referendum to change the NSW constituon and remove fixed terms.
2. Nathan Rees (or any premier) loses a no confidence motion..
3. The NSW government breaches an integral policy part of the constituon and gets dimissed.

None of these are likely to happen. Number 2 is the most likely out of the 3 there's only a very small chance of that. To lose a no confidence motion Labor politicians would have to vote against Nathan Rees and with the polls showing Labor facing oblivion at the next election none of them will want to face the voters earlier than they have to.

Sorry NSW voters, you will have to wait until March 2011 to take the baseball bat to the NSW Labor party.

EDIT: Here is the text of the relevant part of the NSW consitutuion. Part 5 is interesting.

24B Dissolution of Legislative Assembly during 4 year term

(1) The Legislative Assembly may be dissolved by the Governor by proclamation, but only in the circumstances authorised by this section.
(2) The Legislative Assembly may be dissolved if:
(a) a motion of no confidence in the Government is passed by the Legislative Assembly (being a motion of which not less than 3 clear days’ notice has been given in the Legislative Assembly), and
(b) during the period commencing on the passage of the motion of no confidence and ending 8 clear days thereafter, the Legislative Assembly has not passed a motion of confidence in the then Government.
After the motion of no confidence is passed, the Legislative Assembly may not be prorogued before the end of that 8-day period and may not be adjourned for a period extending beyond that 8-day period, unless the motion of confidence has been passed.
(3) The Legislative Assembly may be dissolved if it:
(a) rejects a Bill which appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government, or
(b) fails to pass such a Bill before the time that the Governor considers that the appropriation is required.
This subsection does not apply to a Bill which appropriates revenue or moneys for the Legislature only.
(4) The Legislative Assembly may be dissolved within 2 months before the Assembly is due to expire if the general election would otherwise be required to be held during the same period as a Commonwealth election, during a holiday period or at any other inconvenient time.
(5) This section does not prevent the Governor from dissolving the Legislative Assembly in circumstances other than those specified in subsections (2)-(4), despite any advice of the Premier or Executive Council, if the Governor could do so in accordance with established constitutional conventions.
(6) When deciding whether the Legislative Assembly should be dissolved in accordance with this section, the Governor is to consider whether a viable alternative Government can be formed without a dissolution and, in so doing, is to have regard to any motion passed by the Legislative Assembly expressing confidence in an alternative Government in which a named person would be Premier.

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