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§ 108. “Until the Parliament Otherwise Provides.”

These words empower the Parliament to alter the provisions of sub-sections 1 and 2, which deal with the manner of determining the number of members chosen in the several States. This power of alteration is, however, confined within very narrow limits by the permanent and absolute provisions of the section. The rules which are determined absolutely by the section, and which the Parliament has no power to alter, are:—




  ― 454 ―
  • (1.) That the whole number of members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators:
  • (2.) That the number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective numbers of their people:
  • (3.) That five members at least shall be chosen in each Original State.

The provisions for ascertaining the quota, and for dealing with the question of fractions, may only be altered subject to those absolute rules; so that the power of the Parliament to alter the basis of apportionment is very small.

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