CHAPTER XXIII. DEMOCRACY AT WORK
These were not strictly constitutional acts, but they were effective. In March 1878 intermediaries declared that the Council would now view the payment of members proposal in a more conciliatory spirit. The Appropriation Bill was passed without the 'tack,' and the Council agreed to a Payment of Members Bill to operate till the end of the existing Parliament, with the understanding that a permanent measure for the purpose would afterwards be accepted. In 1880 a bill making payment of members part of the regular governing system of Victoria was passed without dispute, the Council, however, stipulating that it should not apply to its own members.
There have been disputes between the two houses of legislature in other colonies, but none approaching in interest and constitutional importance, or in intense feeling, the celebrated Victorian struggles of 1865-6 and 1877-8. The memory of them caused the framers of the Commonwealth constitution to make especially careful provision for remedying deadlocks which might arise between the two houses of the federal legislature. The Victorian Council itself, moreover, recognized a little later (1881) that its own constitution was dangerously remote from popular influences, and reformed itself by reducing the property qualification of its members and electors and the size of its electoral provinces. After 1881 it became rather less of a squatting oligarchy, and somewhat more representative of human beings than of sheep than it had been in the years of its historical fights with McCulloch and Graham Berry.