Crazy Dazz wrote:We have had fixed 4 year terms for some time now, but Carpenter called an election 6 months early, which gifted Col a 4.5 year term.
Unless something was changed more recently?
This election was the first one called under a four year fixed term (ie the 2013-2017 government was the first fixed term government). The legislation only passed in 2011, well after Carpenter called the 2008 election.
There is no point in fixing terms if the Premier can ignore it for their own benefit. The whole purpose of fixed terms is that the term of government is known.
Crazy Dazz wrote:There are of course circumstances when the Governor has (rightly) refused a request. I recall when Robin Gray lost power in Tasmania, he tried to continue with a minority government (the Greens had the balance of power). When he lost the confidence of the parliament, he wanted to call another election. The Governor refused and forced Gray to resign. (Which was weird because I would have assumed that is tenure as Premier ended with the election, but apparently is warrant was still valid.)
The tenure of the Premier always lasts until a new Premier is sworn in. Thus, on Sunday, the Premier was still Colin Barnett, who would remain Premier until he advises the Governor that he can no longer form government and tells the Governor who to talk to - in this case Mark McGowan.
Gray was within his rights to advise the Governor to hold fresh elections. The Governor was more than within his rights to tell him to go get fucked if his advice was that someone else could form Government (indeed it wasn't just the Governor's right, but also their responsibility). I'm thinking that the fact that no party had a majority in Parliament was his basis for this, in a period where minority government in Australia was unusual. Notably, since this time, ALP/Green Coalitions in Tassie are quite common, but that's a side effect of Tassie's unusual electoral system (for Australia) of five, five member electorates in the lower house - based on the five federal seats - rather than 25 single member electorates as per other states. Tassie *does* have single member electorates, but weirdly in the upper house, and elected on a rotating basis of some each year over a six year period.
Theoretically, an outgoing Premier (or PM) could hold on to the position until a formal test of the numbers when a new Parliament. It would be rather stupid politically to do so however.