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Tuesday, 19 August 1902


Mr WILKS (Dalley) - Honorable members havetold us a good deal about " onemanonevote," and " one-vote-one-value," but they are not so much moved by these considerations as by the manner in which party influence may be increased by a particular method of voting. If we studied the electors we should fight for proportional representation. This provision would not operate in that direction, but it would secure to the dominant party the full force of its voting powers. In New South Wales the free-trade party is undoubtedly dominant, and I shall not be a party to introducing any system which would have the effect of preventing it from securing full representation in t.he Legislature. Some honorable members tell us that they are guided by sound political principles, but each party is fighting for its own interests, and the honorable member for Bland entirely gave the position away when he said that, if the States were divided into single electorates, he would no longer be in favour of plumping, because the candidates would have better opportunities of becoming known to the electors whose suffrages they were seeking. The honorable member for Bland knows well that under the block system of voting the labour party have no chance; and the Minister for Home Affairs also knows that it places the protectionist party in New South Wales at a great disadvantage. I do not pretend that I am guided by any bogus ideas about democracy, but I am fighting for my own party. We are not studying the convenience of the electors, but we are fighting for the interests of our respective parties. When proportional represensation is brought about, it will be better for the elector, and worse for the party. A debate of this character and a decision against plumping willmake many honorable members fight more vigorously for the principle of proportional representation.







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