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Thursday, 13 October 1927

Senator THOMPSON (Queensland) . - When I first stood for election to the Senate there were twelve names on the ballot-paper, and the candidates represented four different parties. Although some of them might not have been sponsored by the parties whom they claimed to represent, there would have been no difficulty on that occasion in putting into practice the method of giving on the ballot-paper the names of the- parties to which the candidates belonged.. Each candidate could himself have declared his party.

Senator Foll - On that occasion there were two different sections calling themselves Country party - the one repudiating the other.

Senator THOMPSON - In that case they would have a,U declared themselves to bc of the Country party. If I am a Country party man. I am entitled so to declare myself whether the organization consents or not. If there are sixteen candidates, some of whom are not endorsed by their organizations, they can still declare themselves to be Nationalists, Labour or Independent. It should be open for each candidate to declare his party. Any man can stand for parliament, and likewise any man should have the right to declare himself to be representing the party to which he has chosen to attach himself. The new clause I propose would enable him to do so, and at the same time would, I am sure, lead to a reduction in the number of informal votes.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - (Queensland - Minister for Defence) [5.46]. - Senator Thompson has referred to the fact that there was a multiplicity of candidates at the Queensland Senate elections in 1922. No matter what confusion there may be among the candidates, it is of the utmost importance that that confusion shall not be brought into the electoral . office. We should so frame our laws as not to bring the various contending political parties into conflict with the electoral authority. There is no simpler way of putting the names of the candidates on the ballot-paper than that which at present is followed. The names are placed on the ballot-paper in alphabetical order, and the groups themselves are arranged in alphabetical order. There is no need for Senator Thompson's amendment.

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