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Free votes in Australian and some overseas parliaments

27 Aug 2002
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In the Australian political party system MPs are sometimes given the opportunity to exercise a "conscience vote" on moral and social issues such as abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. The decision of the major parties to allow members a free vote on the Research Involving Embryos and Prohibition of Cloning Bill 2002 has raised again the issue of free votes in the Commonwealth Parliament. This paper surveys past and present practice in Australian political parties in allowing free votes in the Commonwealth Parliament, the practice in some overseas parliaments, and the conditions under which free votes are allowed.

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Published year only: 
2002
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