Ben is joined by Paul Kildea and Andre Brett to discuss the history of Australian referendums. We discuss the historical origins of referendums at both the state and federal level, the dynamics of referendum campaigns, how different states tend to vote, the voters’ bias towards the status quo, and discuss some of our favourite referendums.
We reference some fairly obscure referendums, including the 1928 referendum in the Australian Federal Territory on ending prohibition, the 1951 and 1965 Wool Reserve Prices referendums, the national song poll of 1977 and the unsuccessful attempt to extend hotel opening hours prior to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
- Paul’s article on state and territory referendums in the Sydney Law Review
- The 2016 article “An Absent Negative” by Russell McGregor about the absence of a No campaign in the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal affairs
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