I guess we’re not getting a Morgan poll tomorrow, so a stand-alone post is required to note recent developments. To wit:
Antony Green has crunched the numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest state and territory population figures and concluded that yet another new seat will need to be created in Queensland next year, again at the expense of New South Wales. Queensland will thus have boomed from 26 seats to 30 in little over a decade, having earlier gained Blair in 1998, Bonner in 2004 and Flynn in 2007. New South Wales lost Gwydir in 2007.
The Australian Electoral Commission has announced that the finalised new federal boundaries for Western Australia will be gazetted on December 18, and maps published henceforth.
A constitutional crisis is brewing in Canada that has some excited observers invoking the example of Australia in 1975. The election on October 14 saw Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government re-elected, but again requiring the support of Bloc Québécois. However, Bloc Québécois has now signed an accord with the Liberal Party and leftist New Democrats due to dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the financial crisis. Harper reportedly plans to ask that Governor-General Michaëlle Jean prorogue the parliament so it will not sit until the budget is presented in January. This would avert a sitting on December 8 at which Harper’s government would likely be defeated on a no-confidence motion, and allow him time to pick apart the Liberal-Bloc-NDP deal. This raises the question of whether Jean ought to grant a prorogation to a Prime Minister who might not have the confidence of the House.
UPDATE (5/12/08): Jean agrees to prorogue parliament until January 26. Ben Raue at The Tally Room expresses his displeasure, and proposes reforms to the appointment of prime ministers (citing the practice in the Australian Capital Territory), the scheduling of parliament and the timing elections. I am a little more sympathetic to Jean’s decision, on account of the Liberals’ evident state of disarray although I can buy the idea that it’s not the Governor-General’s role to make such judgements.