Finally, a column that can predict the election date
It is now clear exactly when Kevin Rudd will hold the election.
I have consulted widely among MPs, journalists and psephologists and there is only one conclusion I can draw: the election will be called between next weekend and April next year.
I do not make this call lightly and some signs are still pointing to the contrary, but this is good mail, and the most accurate that you’ll encounter.
Take for example this fact: there is no election today. Look around, do you see anyone handing out how to vote cards or a P&C member running a sausage sizzle at your local school? No, I would think not (even if you do I contend that is a non-election related sausage sizzle).
Here’s another fact, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has to call an election by April 16 next year - it’s the law. That’s pretty convenient isn’t it? It’s also right in line with my prediction of the election date.
Furthermore I am predicting an election will not be called this week. Parliament is still sitting and it would be a great deal of bother for everyone to change flights and come home early. So that leaves the weekend.
Talking to a minister at the Press Gallery ball last night (yes, I went along, though the wine list was predictable and nobody groped me, unfortunately), I asked her (notice I say she, so that narrows it down somewhat) what Kevin Rudd had for lunch that day: “Oh, a sandwich I think”.
A sandwich! Oh you jest! Mentioned as casually as possible, no doubt thinking the implications of this comment would completely pass me by. Why don’t you just come out and say he’s planning an election madam.
What does one eat when one is busy? A sandwich of course. And what, pray tell, is keeping the Prime Minister busy? A little thing called planning an election.
J’accuse, j’accuse! A sandwich indeed.
There is however one day that the Prime Minister cannot go to the polls, and has nothing to do with football finals (which, I assume, are rather boring affairs having never watched one due to the fact that it coincides with the release of the Spring issue of Foreign Affairs magazine).
No, the day that an election cannot be held is a Wednesday.
As long as they are still showing Hey Hey It’s Saturday, which is now on a Wednesday, they cannot have the election on a Wednesday.
You see if you knew anything you would know that the tradition of having an election on a Saturday was merely so the election results could be analysed by our leading political journalist (on television anyway) Daryl Somers.
Yet Somers’ political commitments were encroaching on his duck plucking and Red Faces commitments, and the nation became restless as a result. A choice was made and elections were to be held on Saturdays, and Hey Hey It’s Saturday would be held on a Wednesday. Such is the root of the current tradition.
Until the Wednesday the day is switched with Saturday (and there has been rumblings about Rudd doing this in his second term) to bring it back in line permanently with Hey Hey It’s Saturday, it would be electoral suicide to have an election on a Wednesday.
So you can tell your dullard friends that your heard it here first: election between now and early next year (that’s of course assuming he doesn’t go double dissolution, in which case things get a little complicated).
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