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Thursday, 13 October 1927

Senator J D MILLEN (Tasmania) . - Apparently Senator Thompson's object is to make the position clearer to an elector when he goes to vote, but if his proposal were agreed to it might create a very difficult and even dangerous position. At the present time certain candidates can group themselves. Let us assume that candidates A, B and C are endorsed as the selected candidates of a party, and agree to group themselves on the ballot-paper. At the same time candidates D, E and F, who are not endorsed or selected candidates, are seeking election as representing the same party. Thus there may be two sets of candidates grouped - A, B and C, with the word " Nationalist " opposite them, and D, E and F also declaring themselves to be Nationalists, as possibly they' may be. As a matter of fact there may be three groups of Nationalists, and two or three groups of Labour candidates.

Senator Thompson - There would be one group of each.

Senator J D MILLEN - There could not be one group of each. If I am a candidate I am grouped with two other candidates, a fid we describe ourselves as of the one party. But other people have the right to do the same thing. The adoption of the honorable senator's proposal would therefore make it difficult for people to record their votes in the way desired by them. Another thing that strikes me is that we are losing sight of the individual. The proposal before the Senate" is merely for the glorification of party. The act deals with the individual up to this point, but now the honorable senator wants to introduce party The respective organizations might as well be allowed to go a step further and have printed on the ballot-paper a paragraph setting out the virtues of the Nationalist candidates and the Nationalist party as far as Australia is concerned. The Labour party would have as much right to do the same, and in a short time the proposed system would become a perfect farce.

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