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Thursday, 13 October 1927

Senator FINDLEY (VICTORIA) - They can do that to-day.

Senator Foll - But not on the ballotpaper.

Senator FINDLEY - During an election campaign the candidates declare themselves. If they are not endorsed by one of the parties, they make it clear to the electors that they are standing as, say, independent Nationalists or independent. Labour. Having gone that far, why should they not be permitted to have their party designations printed on the ballot-paper ?

Senator McLachlan - How would it be possible to prevent them from calling themselves " Nationalists " or "Labour " candidates?

Senator FINDLEY - By using the designation " endorsed " or " official " for those candidates that had the backing of their parties. The suggestion I make would materially assist a considerable number of electors who do not follow too closely the trend of politics in Australia.

Senator McLachlan -Would not that suggestion require the consent of the party as well as the consent of the individual? .

Senator FINDLEY - That, after all, is a matter of form. There would be no difficulty so far as our organization was concerned.

Senator Millen - Why not go a step further and say that only certain organizations shall have the right to nominate candidates.

Senator FINDLEY - That would he absurd.

Senator Millen - It is the logical outcome of the honorable senator's argument.

Senator FINDLEY - The object of grouping candidates is to make it clear to electors that one group is representative of official Labour and the second group is representative of official Nationalist.

Senator McLachlan - Who makes them " official " candidates ?

Senator FINDLEY - The organization that endorses them. Personally I see no harm whatever in printing on the ballot-paper, not only the group names of candidates, but also alongside the respective groups the names of the parties on whose behalf the candidates so grouped are contesting an election. This would not in any way prevent other candidates for either House from seeking election and having set out on the ballot-paper the party they represented. At times there is a certain amount of haziness on the part of some voters as to whether group " A " represents official Labour and group "B" official Nationalist or vice versa. These doubts would be entirely removed if the proposal were adopted, and electors would be able to cast a more intelligent and effective vote. . It is almost impossible for an independent candidate to win an election. It is only when a candidate is endorsed by his organization that he can hope to succeed. In other respects the independent candidate is also at a disadvantage. He is handicapped financially and in addition has to make all his own arrangements.

Mr GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But suppose the independent Labour candidate describes himself on the ballot-paper as " Labour ". What are you going to do?

Senator FINDLEY - I have already stilted that the difficulty may be overcome by designating the endorsed candidates as " official candidates " of the respective parties. The people would then know from the two main groups who were the official and endorsed candidates of the different parties. This system would not prevent other candidates from nominating as independent Labourites or independent Nationalists.

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