There's talk of a double dissolution election. What's that?

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Australia could be headed towards a double dissolution election where both houses of Parliament are sent home. Read more: auspol

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If the Greens and Coalition reject the Labor Party's Housing Australia Future Fund again in October, Australia may experience a double dissolution election.Double dissolutions are different than normal elections, and a major risk for sitting governments.

Labor has brought its Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) back to Parliament, but a deadlock over the bill shows no signs of ending.“I’d rather not have it. I’d rather have this policy passed,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said this week.So why are double dissolution elections different, why are they called, and who do they normally help?In a normal election, every seat in the House of Representatives, but only half the Senate, is contested.

And the government almost always has a majority in the House of Representatives, meaning it's a foregone conclusion that bills will pass there.So when there's a deadlock between those two chambers, it can create the conditions for a double dissolution.The Senate needs to reject a bill that has passed the House of RepresentativesThat creates what's called a double dissolution 'trigger', but the government doesn't need to pull it immediately.

A double dissolution can't be held less than six months before the end of the House of Representatives' term is up.Why the talk now?The Greens delayed a vote on the HAFF when parliament last sat in June, and Albanese considers that rejection number one, meaning Labor is halfway to its trigger.Why do governments like a trigger?Governments like to have a trigger in their back pocket; it's a nice option to have, but there's no obligation to actually pull it.

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