The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in Austria-Hungary involved numerous political and social conflicts. Growing democratic tendencies resulted in draft bills being drawn up aimed at making voting rights universal. In 1896 the conservatives from Galicia criticised the institution of universal suffrage on the grounds of its anti-democratism and elitism. Of importance were also ethnic issues, in particular the fear of an increase in the number of deputies of Ukrainian nationality. The article presents the position of Podolian conservatives through the speeches by their delegates in the Vienna parliament as well as the statements made in the press and in book publications. What should be considered most representative is the utterances by Wojciech Dzieduszycki and Stanisław Starzyński, who offered philosophical and legal grounds for the objection against the democratization of public life in the Habsburg Monarchy.