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Tuesday, 22 July 1902


Mr GLYNN - (South Australia). - I cannot understand the anxiety of the lost: speaker in reference to- this clause. Our object is to afford the fullest facilities for recording votes, and the objection of the honorable member seems to resolve itself into a fear that the candidate who has the most money or the most energetic friends, will obtain an advantage over his opponent.


Mr Batchelor - But no candidate should be able to use the official.


Mr GLYNN - That is a matter for the consideration of those who have the -control of the official. .


Mr Batchelor - But we . are leaving it open to the official to do as he pleases.


Mr GLYNN - We shall simply ask the States to allow us to use their officials, and we assume that they will consent. Then the officials must do their duty as the Bill provides. Any official neglecting or refusing to dohis duty will render himself liable, under clause 178, to a penalty of £200, or imprisonment.


Mr Batchelor - Would it be the duty of an official to go to any place to which he might be called to attest a vote?


Mr GLYNN - If it is not his duty to do so the Bill will prove futile. If any officer exhibits partiality, or in any way violates these provisions, he will be liable to the penalty provided for in clause 178.


Mr Higgins - The term "officer" used in clause 178 refers to the electoral officers, and not to those mentioned in this clause.


Mr GLYNN - Yes, I admit that ; but the scope of the provision will have to be enlarged to apply to all the officials referred to in this clause.


Mr Higgins - But we could not punish a Victorian stipendiary magistrate for not carrying out these provisions.


Mr GLYNN - That flaw extends right through the Bill. We are assuming that it is all right, but at the same time we know that it is all wrong. The present condition of affairs is not like that which prevailed before the Ballot Act was first brought into force. Labour is no longer in terror of capital, and tenants are no longer afraid of their landlords, but we have reached such a stage of development that a man need not feel ashamed or afraid to declare the side upon which he stands. Possibly there may be some abuses now, but none of the class which led to the introduction of the Ballot Act of 1862 in South Australia.

Question - That the words proposed to be inserted be so inserted - put. The committee divided -

Ayes ... ... ... 9

Noes ... ... ... 24

Majority ... ... 15

 

 

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.







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