30 August 2004

starting gun

The ADF will fire a 19-gun salute on Federation Mall immediately after the dissolution is proclaimed in Parliament House at 5pm tomorrow. Why parliament gets 19 guns and the governor-general gets 21 is not immediately obvious.

Media coverage seems to be all about the Senate debate on Faulkner's motion for a select committee on the Scranton evidence. Inexplicably, the opposition has decided not to subpoena ministerial advisers during the election campaign. Unless and until advisers become part of the regular machinery of government and account to parliament for their actions the executive will be able to get away with the abuse of power the select committee is to investigate.

A few sites worth looking at:

Howard was fairly obscure on the question of whether a 65-year old prime minister will serve a full term at yesterday's press conference. That forced Costello to promise not to challenge for the leadership. It's only a small thing but it doesn't speak for a lot of message discipline in the Coalition. It's also frankly ridiculous for Costello to promise not to challenge for the term of the next parliament.

The Senate debate is still running. After weeks of phoney war it still feels like the campaign has not started. That may change tomorrow once the House is formally dissolved.

No comments: