Plebiscites 6

REPEAT REFERENDA IN AUSTRALIA

Having rejected a proposal the Australian people have, at least until now, also rejected any subsequent similar proposal.

In fact, they have been asked to give these following additional powers to Canberra more than once, and they have repeatedly said "No":

Monopolies (5 times).
Corporations not already the subject of federal power (5 times).
Industrial matters within the State (5 times).
Intra-state trade and commerce (3 times).
Marketing schemes (twice).
Price control (twice).
(It could be said that some or most of these would be superfluous today because of the judicial interpretation of the Constitution.)

Attempts to impose simultaneous elections of the House and Senate have been rejected on three occasions. (While these proposals might at first glance seem sensible, they would have reduced the Senate's powers, and thus the influence of the smaller States.) The people have also twice rejected a proposal to include a guarantee of freedom of religion (once in a package, and once by itself), probably because they suspected a subterfuge. And in any event this freedom was already well and truly guaranteed.

So precedents suggest that when the people say "No" they well and truly mean "No". The small group who clamour for change just will not accept this.

 
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