The Mark Latham self harm experiment ended with the return of the illiberal party to the government benches with an increased majority.
To have reached this point without a federal election is quite a strange phenomenon. Although our Federal Government notionally has three year terms the reality is that they are usually much shorter. According to a government research paper from 2000 the average term length since Federation has been around 30 months and since 1975 the average has fallen to less than 28 months.
The question, of course, is why has this term run so much longer than the modern average? I think that Possum Comitatus has captured the answer perfectly, Howard has been wrong footed this year and is hanging on in desperation of things magically improving.
Naming the election date seems to be the only thing left for a Prime Minister who’s looking more and more impotent.