Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

January 23, 2012

A severe outbreak of speculection hits Queensland

Posted by : Michael Lund

Speculection is my word for the endless speculation on the date of the next election in any parliamentary system that doesn’t operate under a fixed term system, such as Queensland.

Journalists and commentators are busy predicting the date they believe the Premier Anna Bligh will haul the good folk of Queensland back to the polling booths.

State elections in Queensland are always held on a Saturday and so the game being played now is to find reason or not for Bligh to pick a particular Saturday for the next poll.

The last state election was held on 21 March 2009 and so the Electoral Commission Queensland - which runs the state elections - has calculated the last possible date for the election is Saturday 16 June this year.

By my reckoning that's 21 possible dates so there's about a 4.7 per cent cent chance you’ll be right if you pick a single Saturday between now and the end date, and obviously the probability of a single Saturday being the correct election date increases the more Saturdays go by.

Most journos are improving their chances of being right by opting for several possible Saturdays.

Even LNP-leader-outside-of-Parliament and Premier hopeful Campbell Newman has had a go at setting the election date. He opted for March 24 when he announced his countdown clock, see The Courier-Mail's "Election by March 24, says Newman, as he unveils state poll countdown clock" (Friday 13 January 2012).

Personally, I’m no fan of all this speculection. As I said in my previous post, Things for 2012 to do, I’m not aware of any political leader who faced with the never ending questioning of the date of the next election has answered: "I'm glad you asked, it's on ... "

This past weekend saw the speculection rise a notch or two with plenty speculating the Premier would announce the date of the election after today’s Cabinet meeting, the first of the new year.

Amused then to see the Australian Associated Press report, echoed here on 7 News website "Bligh wants election after flood report" (Monday 23 January 2012), throw that speculection in reverse with the line "... speculation is mounting that she will not name a date this week".

Enough said.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.