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and to carry further the measures for securing uncompromising majority rule. The position of the party in Parliament appears likely to diminish before the actual predominance of the “ State Executive ” as the permanent organ of conference. Opponents and dissidents credit the party, in some instances, with the adoption of a system of signed resignations, deposited in trusty hands, to be used as
occasion requires (cf. The Round Table,” December, 1917, p. 180). The Labour Party may find that it has repudiated “political leaders" merely to instal the “party boss."
§ 5. The Referendum. $ Reference may be made on this subject to an article in tne Quarterly Review, 1911, by Professor Ernest Scott and the present writer.
The Referendum as a part of the Constitution exists only in the case of the Commonwealth and of the State of Queensland. The Commonwealth Constitution, being itself founded
upon direct acceptance by the people, and being devised as a "rigid " Constitution, naturally provided that no alteration should be valid until it had been submitted to and approved by the people. The Referendum iś also
one other purpose an alteration of the limits of a State. In the case of Queensland, the Referendum was provided in 1908 as the means of settling disputes between the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. In no other case is the Referendum provided as part of a Constitution; but there have been several cases in which a Referendum has been held as an administrative act or under special legislation. Instances of the former are to be found in acts of the Commonwealth Government in 1916 and 1917, South Australia in 1895, Victoria in 1904; of the latter, New South Wales in 1903, and Queensland in 1909.
The fact that a Referendum is usually held at the same time as a general election deprives us of
some material for comparing them as a means of evoking public interest. But the Referendum of 1911 on the extension of Commonwealth powersthe question of the day—was held apart from any election, and recorded only about 54 per cent. of votes, as against 62 per cent. at the general election of 1910. On the other hand,
hand, the Conscription Referendum of 1916, also held apart from any election, resulted in a poll of 82 per cent. of the electors—the highest yet recorded in the Commonwealth.
The Referendum is not yet so much a part of the Australian system
warrant many safe inferences upon it. The difficulty of working it in conjunction with responsible or party government, which appeals to many persons, is with others no objection—they want the Referendum to cure defects of the party system, and therefore do not ask whether the Referendum is consistent with party government, but demand that the party system should adapt itself to the Referendum. We can only point to a few considerations suggested by Australian experience. The Referendum is advocated
means whereby the elector can declare his opinion upon a definite issue, unembarrassed by the multitude of considerations which affect election. This object may be frustrated in several ways. It is frustrated if the Referendum is held contemporaneously with a general election, and for
administrative convenience and economy it usually is; or if several issues are submitted in question, where several proposals of constitutional alterations were contained in one Bill in 1911; or if over-much or over-little skill has been shown in framing the questions.1 Where the Referendum is on a proposal granting additional powers (as an amendment of the Commonwealth Constitution) the matter is likely to be decided on the known policy of the actual Government or Parliament in respect to the use of the powers, The most notable cases of
the Referendum since the establishment of the Commonwealth are those of October, 1916, and December, 1917, when the Commonwealth Government submitted to the electors the question of compulsory military service. The submission was outside the Constitution, and as a reference by the Government to the people of a question with which Parliament had full power to deal, may be regarded as strictly unconstitutional. In that the vote of the electors had no legal force, and no value except as an expression of opinion, it did not differ from several of the cases in which a Referendum has been held in the States. But it did differ in that the expression was sought not as a guide to Parliament, but as a guide to the Executive Government. The Government declared that the measure was necessary, bưt from the nature of the case it was bound to withhold much of the information and knowledge upon which its opinion was based. The appeal to the people was, therefore, in a peculiar degree, an appeal to the people's confidence in the Government's capacity and judgment in a vital matter. The Government proposal was negatived, the Government remained in office, and, on dissolution was returned with a large majority in April, 1916, but pledged not to introduce Conscription without a further submission to the people. By December, 1917, the military situation had become more urgent, and the Ministry informed the country that voluntary enlistment had failed to provide the necessary reinforcements. They, therefore, again submitted the issue of compulsory military service, and now expressly warned the electors that they could not continue in office without powers they considered necessary to carry through Australia's part in the war. The proposal
1 If a State Government chooses the time of a federal election for a Referendum of its own, the pitch may be queered; and when in 1917 the Queensland Government took the opportunity of the Commonwealth general election to hold a Referendum on the abolition of the Queensland Legislative Council, a Commonwealth regulation forbade it. The Referendum was, nevertheless, held.
was again defeated more decisively than before. Then arose a novel situation—a Ministry with a large majority in both Houses pledged to resign because it could not undertake responsibility without power;
one under a constitutional obligation to take up the Government or in a position to carry on if he were willing to take office. Consequently, there was always looming through the Referendum the dissolution of Parliament. The conclusion was constantly forced upon people during this crisis that a dissolution has the advantage over a Referendum that it not merely decides an issue but establishes the conditions necessary for carrying on government in accordance with that decision. It reminded us that the conventions of our Constitution are not artificial rules into which we have blundered by chance, but the fruit of an experience which has been rich in experiments in government.
THE AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS.
By Professor Elton Mayo.
The main contribution which psychology makes to social science may be summarised in the assertion that the meaning which any ordinary object of his surrounding possesses for an individual is determined at any given moment by the general meaning he gives the world. If vinegrower and temperance reformer, for example, look simultaneously at a glass of wine, they see it very differently. The actual object, considered as much colour and form, is approximately the same for both; yet one views it as an ordinary commodity of trade, the other as a thing of horror. To the one it is an everyday utility, to the other it is the outstanding curse
of civilisation. The determining factor in each case is not so much the object itself as the kind of background against which it is seen. Every individual member of society gives some kind of total meaning to his world, a total meaning which reflects his past experiences, his life and character; and this total meaning goes far to determine the meaning of every lesser object for him-his attitude to any problem that may present itself for consideration.
This is a fact of primary importance for social science. The political party to which an individual nominally belongs does not actually create his political views. It may help him to formulate or to express, and in so doing may give direction to his thoughts; but the standard by which all ideas or proposals are ultimately judged