Left Menu
Life News
Are we using our memory for the glory of God? by Timothy Raymond
Can we in good conscience vote for Labor? by Andrew Lansdown and Dwight A. Randall
National MP slams perversity of Safe Schools program
Adult children of gay parents testify against same-sex marriage by Kirsten Andersen
Domestic Violence: Women can be as abusive as men by Dr Augusto Zimmerman
With the Lord: Wilma Drew
18th Annual Walk and Rally for Life
Former senator speaks up for the unborn by Joe Bullock
Qurans deadly role in inspiring Belgian slaughter by Nabeel Qureshi
Germany:Christian refugees persecuted by Muslims by Soeren Kern
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
by Andrew Lansdown
One for All
A Son to the war
Becoming a Christian
Train home
Sons Laid Down Their Lives
An Accurate Diagnosis
Starting again
Following hard after God
Starving our children
The first duty of fatherhood
The origin of fatherhood
An Easter Song
A Christmas carol
For This Purpose
In royal David's city
God's Placard
Believing the Bible: the issue of inerrancy
Marriage according to scripture
A biblical perspective on prostitution
Prostitution and social justice
Abortion: A biblical perspective
If people were dogs & other false arguments for euthanasia
How porn harms us
How Green is God?
Christians and Politics
When Christians Take Their Lives
The High Kings Watchmen

On ignoring referenda


by Dwight A. Randall

The word referendum comes from Latin meaning something referred (to the citizens for a decision). Australians have always viewed referenda as constituting the most direct means for expressing the will of voters on a particular matter.

A change to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia can only be made if the majority of electors, and the majority of States (four of six) vote in favour of the referendum. An example of this took place on 1 October 1999 when a referendum was held to alter the Constitution of Australia and to establish the Commonwealth as a republic with a President replacing the Queen and Governor. The referendum did not receive a majority vote (45.13 per cent voted in favour), resulting in its failure.

In Western Australia, over the past thirty years, three referenda (March 1975, April 1984 and April 1992) have been held to determine the people’s will on daylight saving. At each of these referenda, Western Australians, by sizeable margins, rejected it.

Yet in spite of this, a private member’s bill on daylight saving was introduced by Liberal MLA Matt Birney and facilitated by the government with the support of many members of the government and the opposition. After passing through Legislative Assembly on 31 October 2006 and then through the Legislative Council on 21 November 2006, the Daylight Saving Bill (No. 2) 2006 became law. It took effect on 3 December 2006 for a trial period lasting three years, after which yet another referendum on daylight saving will take place!

Whether or not daylight saving ever becomes a popular success is beside the point. The point is that Western Australians are now dealing with a state government, aided by many in the opposition, that is determined to get its own way.

On 26 February 2005 the state government helda referendum on retail trading hours. Under the heading “Extended Sunday shopping”, the following question was asked, “Do you believe that the Western Australian community would benefit if trading hours in the Perth Metropolitan Area were extended to allow general retail shops to trade for 6 hours on Sunday?” 37.46 per cent of voters responded “Yes”, while 59.56 per cent responded “No.” As with three previous daylight saving referenda, the people of Western Australia resoundingly rejected increased trading hours on Sundays. But again the government ignored the will of the people by introducing Sunday trading for retail liquor outlets that came into effect on 17 December 2006. What is galling about this is that Sunday trading for retail liquor outlets was one of the primary concerns expressed by those opposing expanded trading hours. The Christian Democratic Party, for example, campaigned hard against it.

Western Australians should be deeply concerned about the changes to liquor legislation, which will surely lead to greater harm caused by alcohol abuse in our communities. The changes allow for restaurants to sell liquor without food, and the sale of liquor at suburban liquor outlets on Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm (previously this was prohibited).

Again, whether or not Sunday liquor sales become popular in the future isbeside the point. The point is that the Government has a cavalier approach when it comes to ignoring the will of the people who elected it to power. The government seems to believe that its own will supercedes that of its electors.

While daylight saving is unlikely to have a harmful social impact, allowing greater access to liquor on weekends will. It will add to unacceptable social behaviourby drunken and abusive youths attacking police, damaging property, harming others, and ultimately harming themselves. It will contribute to violence against women and children. It will contribute to alcoholism. It will contribute to injury and death on our roads. Following on the heels of liberalised laws relating to growing, possessing and smoking marijuana, thelast thing Western Australians needed was what the government has just forced upon us.

And since the government has ignored our will in relation to Sunday trading for retail liqor outlets, won’t it also expand trading hours for other businesses too? Treasurer Eric Ripper has been arguing that there is a great deal of pressure for expanded weekend trading hours in the metropolitan area, although he appears to have been silenced for a time by members of his own party.

Further expanding trading hours would cause even greater harm. It would add to weekends becoming more like weekdays, more people working through weekends, less family time, less time for leisure and recreation, and less time for church and worship. This should concern all Christians, who hold the Lord’s Day as being a time, not for materialism and shopping, but for worship and rest.

Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
2015 Vol 3 Jul - Sep
2015 Vol 2 Apr - Jun
2015 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2014 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2014 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2014 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2014 Vol 2 Apr - May
2014 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2013 Vol 5 Dec - Jan
2013 Vol 4 Sep - Nov
2013 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2013 Vol 2 Apr - May
2013 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2012 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2012 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2012 Vol 3 May - Jul
2012 Vol 2 Mar - Apr
2012 Vol 1 Jan - Feb
2011 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2011 Vol 2 Apr - May
2011 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2010 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2010 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2010 Vol 2 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 2 Apr - May
2010 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2009 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2009 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2009 Vol 2 Apr - May
2009 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2008 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2008 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2008 Vol 3 Jun - July
2008 Vol 2 Apr - May
2008 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2007 Vol 5 Nov - Jan
2007 Vol 4 Aug - Oct
2007 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2007 Vol 2 Apr - May
2007 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2006 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2006 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2006 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2006 Vol 2 Apr - May
2006 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2005 Vol 6 Dec - Jan
2005 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2005 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2005 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2005 Vol 2 Apr - May
2005 Vol 1 Feb - Mar