Gough Whitlam’s 1974 re-election: 'government by double dissolution'

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Abstract

In the double dissolution election of May 1974 Gough Whitlam's Labor government achieved an historic second victory. It was followed by the equally historic Joint Sitting of both houses of parliament, which remains the only Joint Sitting ever held under section 57 of the Constitution, and at which 6 of the Whitlam government's most significant policies were legislated. Despite its undoubted significance the 1974 election has been largely overlooked, even forgotten, in the tumultuous history of the Whitlam government. This article explores the nature and significance of the 1974 election, its constitutional and political innovations under the unique provisions of s. 57, and its implications for the events of 1975 and the Governor-General's unprecedented dismissal of the Whitlam government.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking Modern Australia
Subtitle of host publicationThe Whitlam Government's 21st Century Agenda
EditorsJenny Hocking
Place of PublicationClayton Vic Australia
PublisherMonash University Publishing
Chapter5
Pages60-72
Number of pages13
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781925495201
ISBN (Print)9781925495188, 9781925495195
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this

Hocking, J. (2017). Gough Whitlam’s 1974 re-election: 'government by double dissolution'. In J. Hocking (Ed.), Making Modern Australia: The Whitlam Government's 21st Century Agenda (1st ed., pp. 60-72). Monash University Publishing.