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Tuesday, 19 August 1902

Sir EDWARD BRADDON (Tasmania) - I hope that these words will be restored. We desire above all things that our representation shall be as democratic as we can make it, and that we should represent the votes and the voices of the people as effec- tively as possible. By the introduction of the system of plumping we shall obtain exactly the converse result. We shall place more and more power in the hands of the purse-holder, and enable those with wealth behind them to carry elections which otherwise they could not hope to win. If we could have had that proportional system of voting which gives in its truest possible shape a reflex of the opinions of the people from one end of the country to the other, all would have been well. There is nothing in that system which is tainted in any way with the wretched practice of plumping. I do not desire to labour this question, but I would say that in the true interests of democracy - in the interests of true representation - and in the interests of the Senate itself, it would be well for us to restore these words. As I have said before, we have a right to consider the form of election of honorable members to another place, just as they have a right to consider the form of our election ; but as this is a matter dealing exclusively with representation in that House, I think we should be chary of interfering with what they have done.We might very well adopt what they have done in good faith, and, I hope, with every intention to insist upon it.

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