Julia Gillard just announced a federal election for 14 September. This raises a number of slightly troubling issues, not least the religious significance of the day for Australian Jews. She will ask the governor-general later today, to agree to issue writs for the September date. I’d be surprised if the governor-general does not at least state that she retains power to appoint a different prime minister in appropriate circumstances and to accept different advice on the election date. While there are precedents from Queensland and New Zealand for very long pre-election announcements, they were both by governments with a parliamentary majority in their own right.