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Thursday, 13 October 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I should have been pleased if Senator Thomas had gone a step further, and had proposed to have the names of the party printed on the ballot-paper opposite each group. It is not too late even now to do that. Senator Glasgow has stated that the amendment will, if adopted, cause friction amongst candidates comprising the respective groups. I do not think it will, because, as I understand it, the order in which the names of candidates within a group appear on the ballot-paper must be the result of an arrangement between the candidates themselves. If they are satisfied to have their names printed in a certain order, how can any friction be caused? I could understand the objection made by the Minister if Senator Thomas had suggested that Parliament should arbitrarily determine how the names of candidates should appear on the ballot-paper; but Senator Thomas does not propose to do that at all. All he suggests is that the candidates in the different groups shall agree amongst themselves as to the order in which their names shall appear. It is well known that the respective party organizations agree, prior to an election, as to which candidate shall receive No. 1 vote, and how the other preferences shall be distributed. The proposal submitted by Senator Thomas, will simplify the postion and is worthy of a trial.

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