This afternoon the Kevin Rudd will visit the Governor-General and request a dissolution and an election on 7 September. A proclamation will then have to be issued dissolving the House of Representatives. The writ initiating the 150 House elections and the Senate elections for the ACT and Northern Territory have to be prepared and then signed by the Governor General. The State Governors will then have to be located and instruction given to them through the formal channels to issue writs for the half-Senate elections.
The writs will presumably be issued tomorrow (Monday 5 September), which will mean the minimum campaign period of 33 days (just under 5 weeks). The day the writ is issued becomes day zero and the writ is deemed to apply from 6pm on the day of issue.
In a good series of posts on his blog, Antony Green has outlined the technicalities surrounding this process:
- Election Timing and the Issues of Election Writs;
- What an Election Writ Looks Like;
- Election Dates and Extended Three Year Terms.
Three years ago I maintained a dedicated blog on the federal election, Election Blackout. While I won't be able to do a similar thing for this election, I am hoping to blog about the election now and again on Freedom to Differ. Of course, I am sure I will also be tweeting about the election @peterjblack. When I do blog about the election, I am planning to focus on any electoral law issues that arise throughout the campaign.