Elec­tion de­clared void

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pres­sure that might be ex­erted by the King. The pro­hi­bi­tion spread through the Bri­tish Em­pire.

At the Colo­nial elec­tions of 1893, Colonel Tem­ple­ton stood for the seat of Be­nalla and Yar­ra­wonga in the Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly.

He sought elec­tion as a free trader and a ‘‘sen­tinel to give warn­ing of im­pend­ing dan­ger when un­wise changes were pro­posed to law or of its ad­min­is­tra­tion’’.

He had a long his­tory of ser­vice to the Colony of Vic­to­ria. Ini­tially, a teacher, John Tem­ple­ton had formed the Na­tional Mu­tual Life As­so­ci­a­tion and sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved ad­min­is­tra­tion of life as­sur­ance poli­cies.

In 1884, Colonel Tem­ple­ton left life as­sur­ance to be­come one of the three Com­mis­sion­ers of the Pub­lic Ser­vice ap­pointed to en­trench the nov­elty that pro­mo­tion should de­pend on merit as well as se­nior­ity.

After­ward, Tem­ple­ton had been Chair­man of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Board for five years prior to the 1893 elec­tions.

In 1890, as a pub­lic ac­coun­tant, he had also been ap­pointed liq­uida­tor of the Premier Per­ma­nent Build­ing So­ci­ety, one of the very first ca­su­al­ties of the Great De­pres­sion of 1893.

Be­fore Fed­er­a­tion, Vic­to­ria looked to its own de­fence. Tem­ple­ton had joined the Vol­un­teers as a pri­vate and rose to the rank of Ma­jor.

When the mili­tia re­placed the Vol­un­teers in 1883, he was pro­moted to Lieu­tenant-Colonel and then to Colonel.

At the elec­tion, then de­cided on a ‘‘first past the post’’ ba­sis, Tem­ple­ton re­ceived the same num­ber of votes as the other can­di­date, Thomas Kennedy. The re­turn­ing of­fi­cer, us­ing his cast­ing vote, de­clared Colonel Tem­ple­ton elected.

Kennedy pe­ti­tioned the clerk of the Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly to de­clare the elec­tion void. Kennedy pointed out Tem­ple­ton’s rank in the colo­nial mili­tia.

Surely, this was an of­fice of profit un­der the Crown? Kennedy also claimed that, as an of­fi­cial liq­uida­tor, a sworn court of­fi­cer, Tem­ple­ton also held an­other of­fice of profit un­der the crown.

Kennedy failed to men­tion that Tem­ple­ton sat on the Pub­lic Ser­vice Board.

When the Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly’s Com­mit­tee of Elec­tions and Qual­i­fi­ca­tions con­sid­ered the mat­ter, it held that Tem­ple­ton did not hold an of­fice of profit.

How­ever, it still de­clared the elec­tion void. There had been no elec­toral roll at Devenish polling booth. It was not pos­si­ble to as­cer­tain who had voted there and whether they had voted legally.

Bit­ter, Colonel Tem­ple­ton did not stand again at the re­sult­ing by­elec­tion. Kennedy won.

Us­ing to­day’s High Court rul­ings, Tem­ple­ton would have had a clear of­fice of profit from the State Crown, pur­suant to the Con­sti­tu­tion Act Amend­ment Act (Vic­to­ria). He was the salaried Chair­man of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Board.

— John Barry, ANZAC Com­mem­o­ra­tive Work­ing Party, Coo-ee — Hon­our­ing our WWI


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