11 August 2023

How much more of the so-called Voice debate do we have to bear?

| Ian Bushnell
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Australian flag, Australian Aboriginal Flag, Torres Strait Islander flag.

If the Voice referendum fails, what next for the nation? Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Last week it was a semantic “argument” about the length of the Uluru Statement, fermented in the conspiracy factories of the Murdoch media machine.

I don’t care if it’s one page or 26 pages. The proposition remains simple: constitutional recognition for the original inhabitants of this country through a Voice to provide grassroots advice to government to find new ways to tackle the nation’s ongoing colonial problem.

That is, the issues created by European settlement’s dispossession and fragmenting of Australia’s First Nations. It is not the Aboriginal problem that needs to be fixed.

The false equivalence of media coverage has enabled the No advocates to claim an unearned legitimacy and grow its constituency, while the social media swamp has bred all kinds of conspiracy theories, racist tropes and outright lies.

The strategy is a familiar one now – mislead, amplify fear and sow discord and doubt.

It works. From overwhelming support in the polls earlier in the year, surveyed voters have shifted ground to the point where the referendum may well be lost, unnerved by the ongoing firehose of negative commentary.

READ ALSO The long history of conservatives and treaty fearmongering

It’s got to the point that the arguments and claims are going round in circles, often with the same columnists churning them out in marginally reworked iterations.

It doesn’t matter how many times claims are refuted, shown to be wrong or how horrible the slur is. They just won’t go away.

From a former prime minister’s nonsense about legislated victimhood, to appealing to tribalism, to pitting immigrants against a culture with a 60,000-year history on this continent, to treating the Constitution like it is a sacred text, to naked political opportunism, the No campaign has plumbed the depths.

We are at the point where the referendum debate is threatening to do more harm to First Nations, as the marriage equality poll campaign did to some LGBTQIA+ people.

Australia’s precious social fabric is also at risk, the No campaigners glibly assert, knowing full well they are the ones hoping to profit from that division.

I would like to think that the polls are wrong, that there is inbuilt bias in the samples and that on the whole, like the marriage equality vote, Australians will see the reasonableness in the proposition and that this will draw a line under our colonial past and propel the nation forward.

Because what has gone before has not worked.

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Prime Minister Albanese needs to rally support for the Yes vote and make a decision on the referendum date to galvanise minds on the question and what is at stake.

What happens after the referendum if it fails? What do the No campaigners propose as an alternative? Well, they don’t propose anything, and that should be remembered.

Where will First Nations’ hopes and aspirations for their children be directed, or will defeat usher in a new era of hardened defiance or abject resignation?

And what will it mean for the nation’s soul?

What will this week bring? What revelation on Sky News or X, the anything-goes site formerly known as Twitter, or the latest fake Facebook page will be blown up out of all proportion under the Murdoch mastheads?

I’m over it, and ready to vote, are you?

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The idea that Indigenous disadvantage will endure for generations counters the argument that the Voice would close the gap. This beside the issue of how to define Indigenous in generations to come – will 1/1000th Aboriginal blood be a reasonable threshold! In just two generations there will be “fully Aboriginal” people with a near-homeopathic blood dilution. I’m voting no.

Jamie Michael2:53 pm 15 Aug 23

I’m afraid public debate is an inevitable part of democracy. Try and spend a day viewing things from other peoples point of view instead of vilifying them and you might be surprised that maybe your opinions aren’t as objective as you think

@Jamie Michael
“Reject this nonsense – vote no!”
Yes …. I can see what you mean by ‘… your opinions aren’t as objective as you think.’

HiddenDragon7:50 pm 14 Aug 23

“Prime Minister Albanese needs to rally support for the Yes vote”

Good luck with that.

It was once observed – uncharitably, but probably with a degree of grudging admiration that he got away with it for so long – that Menzies ran Australia as if it were a giant scout troop.

In a similar vein, Albanese seems to be channeling the head nun from his late 60s/early 70s primary school when he speaks publicly on the Voice and crankily chastises the naughty kiddies who have not yet got the message and are still asking impudent questions of their olders and betters.

He was at it again today at the QANTAS media event where, for the umpteenth time, he trotted out the “if not us who?, if not now when?” line – bizarrely ripping off, of all people, Ronald Reagan. We will know it’s really getting desperate if he revives his plagiarism of the Michael Douglas film – but hopefully remembers not to refer to Peter Dutton as Bob Rumson –


A simple explanation of why a constitutionally entrenched advisory body will magically find solutions which all the current and former advisory and funding administration bodies have yet to find would help the yes case – but all we have had on that question is, at best, half truths and mythologising to explain away the shortcomings of those bodies.

Rob McGuigan2:35 pm 14 Aug 23

Like absolutely ALL the Yes case argument to date this article is dishonest, simplistic, dismissive nonsense. This racist Voice has three trenchants Voice 1st then treaty, then reparations. Even the ALP condensed so-called 1 pager (actually 26 pages and probably even more) says this. All the activist indigenous architects of this Voice numerous times have stated this Voice is NOT one page. These include Mayo and Langdon. I invite all to read this 26 page document, I have in full. The first thing I noted was the alternate numbering system bottom middle if every page. Document 14 (Uluru Statement) starts in this alternate system at page 87. What’s on the 1st 86 pages I ask?

@Rob McGuigan
Which “statement” did you read, Rob?

You can download a pdf of the statement on the official Uluru Statment web site – https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement/view-the-statement/.

Oh and for good measure here’s a link (https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/factlab-meta/uluru-statement-from-the-heart-is-one-page) to a fact checking article from RMIT, which explains the “other 25 pages”.

What were you saying about “dishonest, simplistic, dismissive nonsense”? Pot and kettle methinks.

I’m not really buying into the claims around the longer statement, I think it’s irrelevant. But it’s also clear that the supporting information was and is part of the discussions and policy development that went into the development of final statement and ongoing discussions.

But I’d also be interested in hearing what exactly you think the authors were claiming when they’ve been videoed a number of times claiming that the Uluru Statement was more than the one page document? What do you believe they were talking about? Seems strange.

Well, here’s what he read. The document page headers call it “Document 14”.

I don’t see why there’s such an effort to deprecate it by RMIT et. al. It gives valuable background to the one pager, and obviously is part of the same overall document. The RMIT “fact check” doesn’t address the consecutive page numbering, uniform page header, and uniform formatting. Nor that the following pages have no independent overall title of their own. RMIT just asserts falsity, based on a single authority opinion. This may be enough for Guardian readers, but it fails the pub test.

Also obviously, a lot of people put a lot of work into Document 14. It fleshes out the necessarily brief statements made in the one-pager. And really, for the “yes” campaign, it’s a great come-back to people who say there ought to be more substance than a one-pager for a campaign to convince voters to constitutionally divide governance of the nation by race. Actually the “yes” campaign should say, “see, look, there’s been a huge amount of thought put into it, check it out”, and proudly offer it.

But alas, the politics are now so bent-up that the “yes” case is putting as much distance between the one-pager and its policy context document as possible. This is the opposite of looking based. You can’t blame people for thinking it looks deceptive, sly and shifty. And the more that “yes” gaslights it (a la RMIT), the more it looks that way.

Rob McGuigan6:23 pm 14 Aug 23

RMIT…really. That’s your Fact checking. Mate That’s not fact checking, that’s the biggest leftist echo chamber in Melbourne. Oh and by the way as for fact checking go to your leftist ABC and look through their website you will see Mayo, Langdon and the other I can’t quite remember all state again and again and again the Voice is anywhere beyween 18 and 26 pages long. As for your doctored links….no thanks I don’t need to read document 14 a second or third time. Once was definitely enough. Vote NO!

“I’m not really buying into the claims around the longer statement, I think it’s irrelevant.” I think you should have stopped there but as usual you have to go on.

I have no idea what the authors of the Uluru Statement were talking about in the videos you cite … I could guess and offer the opinion it might have had something to do with the (to them) cultural and spiritual intent behind the statement and its importance to First Nations people.

No doubt you have a “theory” on what sinister machinations behind the authors claim that the Statement was more than a one page document – but frankly I have no interest in what that may be. It’s irrelevant.

“I could guess and offer the opinion it might have had something to do with the (to them) cultural and spiritual intent behind the statement and its importance to First Nations people.”

now you’re just being deliberately obtuse. The recorded statements from some of the authors are that the Uluru Statement itself is more than one page long, often cited by them as 18-20+ pages long. They promoted this as a positive, that there was lots of pages of detail and information backing the entire framework that underpins the summary one pager. Nothing to do with cultural or spiritual intent but physical pages and detail.

As I said before, the actual length of what they want to call the Uluru Statement is irrelevant, but the detail contained in the supporting documentation is clearly relevant background on how it came about and what underpins their medium and longer term goals. As the activists themselves say, significant work went into the development. It’s not like any of this has been hidden either, most of it has been publicly available for a number of years.

@Rob McGuigan
RMIT – a leftist echo chamber. My doctored links.
Wow – I’m glad to see you QAnon handbook is up to date.

All your comments drip with snarky condescension. Now we’ve hit basement-level social media trolling, calling people cookers (QAnon conspiracists). But for all that, none of the “yes” comments here, nor the original article, address the real question: if we are to have a racially-constituted amendment to our governance (a cost), then how exactly, in blueprint-level detail, will The Voice, as a *constitutional* amendment, address Closing the Gap?

When the naysayers make ludicrous claims then denounce any refuting arguments as “a leftist echo chamber” then you have labelled them correctly = cookers.

PS My responses simply reflect the tone of the original comment.

“… then how exactly, in blueprint-level detail, will The Voice, as a *constitutional* amendment, address Closing the Gap?”
read the Yes pamphlet (https://www.aec.gov.au/referendums/files/pamphlet/your-official-yes-no-referendum-pamphlet.pdf) – Section 3.

Nothing there explains why there needs to be a constitutionally entrenched adjunct parliamentary body to “listen”. It’s very well known that consultation, or even better a participatory approach, is the best way to deliver services. I spent a career advocating for and practising that. There’s a truckload (literally) of books about it. I’ve got quite a few here, and even one of my own that I wrote. But the actuality, if you’re a practitioner, is that it isn’t that simple. Powers that be have agendas, and individuals have egos. People like me have tried for decades to attune policy with listening, but politics. There’s nothing in the Voice proposal that shows me how *constitutional enshrinement* will solve those problems or enhance the consultative or participatory process of service delivery.

I agree with you. The change to the Constitution is, of its nature, high level, and as such there is nothing in the wording that will lead to wholesale change. That will come from the legislation of this and future parliaments, which the Constitutional amendment will underpin. Nevertheless I accept that by listening to the representations, to the Parliament and Executive Government, which the Voice may formally make, it is a step in the right direction.

I don’t understand your use of the term “adjunct parliamentary body” as if the Voice will have some special power. Every Australian citizen may make representations to the Parliament and they can do so by approaching their elected representative (i.e. local MP). Just as the Parliament and Executive Government will be under know obligation to act on representations from the Voice, similarly an MP is under no obligation to act on a representation from a citizen or other body.

I support the concept of constitutional enshrinement so that it is enduring not just a ‘point in time’ symbol that the next conservative government can sweep aside. Having read the wording of the change on which I am being asked to cast my vote, I can see nothing of which I need be afraid or concerned. Others, on both sides, are keen to extrapolate events that will occur (positive or negative depending on their perspective) should the referendum succeed – how those events play out will be the responsibility of those who frame and maintain the legislation.

I should add that I have no vested interest in the outcome. Irrespective of whether or not the referendum succeeds or fails my life willl not change one iota.

Why don’t territory voters (including +10% of all indigenous Australians) count equally in referendums?

If the majority of states don’t vote YES, the Australians voting from ACT NT territories votes won’t count for anything at all.

Referendums need a majority of states to vote YES for it to proceed. It doesn’t sound fair and is undemocratic.

Maybe we need a referendum to give all Australians the same democratic voting rights at referendums.

Not surprisingly, the mode of altering the Constitution, is contained in the Constitution (S128 – https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/chapter8#chapter-08_128) which has “the majority of electors in a majority of states” requirement.

It was only in the 1977 referendum, that it was agreed citizens of the Territories would be included in the national count – prior to that ACT and NT voters didn’t even cast a vote in referenda.

It’s worth remembering that at the time the Constitution was written, the ACT and NT did not exist. Also the reality – that neither is a state. Even the “right of self government” in ACT and NT is contained in legislation of the Federal Parliament not the Constitution.

It’s simple if you’re simple. It’s simple if all you believe is that all the referendum is about is the constitutional recognition for the original inhabitants of this country through a Voice to provide grassroots advice to government to find new ways to tackle the nation’s ongoing colonial problem. It’s really simple if you don’t examine the need for The Voice at all. If you do look beyond the YES campaign propaganda you see that loading The Gap with heavily biasing remote location statistics skews the whole situation. The recent Productivity Commission ‘Interim The Gap Report’ plainly stated that living in remote locations impacts greatly on your ability to access services and life opportunities. It also stated that the majority of The Gap statistics are unreliable, outdated and some don’t even exist. Recent literature stated that 20% of the health Gap can be put down to the impact of smoking on chronic diseases where remotely located indigenous people smoke at 5 times the rate of the rest of Australia. The other reason we don’t need the actual Voice itself is that thousands of successful indigenous designed, staffed and run schemes and programs have benefitted hundreds of thousands indigenous Australians that have placed themselves in locations amenable to accessing those schemes. But you’ll never hear any success stories from the YES campaign. They’d rather have you think that indigenous Australians are too infantile to make their needs and wants known over the last fifty plus years. A patronising Voice will fix it all. A racist concept if ever there was one.

Rob McGuigan2:55 pm 14 Aug 23

Right on the money Waggamick.

GrumpyGrandpa12:28 pm 14 Aug 23

I’m sorry. The Voice is a load of trollop.

All Australians, including those who have indigenous blood in their veins, should be thankful for the rich advanced society that we now have, as a result of the British, colonialsation over 200 years ago.

I have no issue with acknowledging that there were indigenous people here, when the British arrived, but the Referendum, as it is, will NOT get my support.

The problems with this article are the same problems facing the “yes” case overall. The “yes” case ends with the assertion that Aboriginal people need amplified self-representation at a parliamentary adjunct level. It has not demonstrated exactly how this would solve “Closing the Gap”, which is the current policy framing.

In public administration, good policy is based on an explicit theory of change, and that theory is assiduously reflected in the policy design. The Voice appears to have neither an explicit theory of change (as opposed to a woolly idea that is supposed to be self-evident) nor a policy design. On the one hand, the policy design is either something that will be thought about later, after the Voice is accepted, or (half-hidden) is the three-step Voice, Truth-telling, Treaty process (but even then, not detailed enough for policy assessment). The world is littered with politically desired policies that weren’t thought through, and failed as a result. This is a legitimate concern.

I have sat through memorable seminars (about Aboriginal affairs) where the speaker, stuck without answers to difficult questions, resorts to ad-hominem attack. When that happens, it’s immediately clear that the speaker has run out of substantive arguments and is now just trying to shut people down. The ad-hominems signal that they lost.

So what we have here is an experimental policy, without a clear theory of social change or corresponding design, that its proponents hope to lock in before it can be trialled and evaluated. It looks like an ideological process. If these points are pressed, there is a fusillade, not of substantive supporting arguments, but angry invective: “racist” and so on – as in this article. The Voice is ideologically-driven, not rationally designed. And as it fails, its proponents will get angrier and ever more divisive.

And exactly as the article states, naysayers don’t have solutions only issues

That’s unsubstantiated. The Liberal Party for instance, has proposed “establishing a ground-up model of local and regional bodies.” Bottom-up and intermediary rather than top-down: strongly favoured in international development. But if you ask me personally, I’d say try the Voice, but evaluate it before proposing constitutional enshrinement. In any case, there’s nothing wrong with pointing out why something won’t work as hoped or intended. That’s called prudence.

Rob McGuigan2:53 pm 14 Aug 23

Read the article RJ. Not a single cogent argument. Like all the Yes case argument to date…..there is none. The only side putting forward an argument is the NO case. Many of them. Stating the ALP line of ” the vibe, good manners, it’s a simple request, it’s a polite inclusive request” …the latest one, are NOT argument.

The constant screeching from Yes voters around misinformation, conspiracies and racism is just getting tiresome now.

Particularly considering the amount of misleading and deliberate omission of imformation going on from their own side.

And equally tiresome is the drivel from the No side about lack of detail and omission of information.

The fact that naysayers don’t like the information that is provided from many sources doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Not really drivel when it’s the government’s own stated position not to provide the requested detail. Perhaps you should take it up with them and why they refuse to adopt a specific Voice model or provide draft legislation to support the proposed amendment? There’s nothing stopping them doing that.

You may find voting on a vague conceptual basis fine, others do not.

As for the information actually provided, yes many people don’t like it and find it unpersuasive, that’s kind of the point in how they’ve determined their positions.

Rob McGuigan6:17 pm 14 Aug 23

That’s because there is no detail.

It is drivel.
Have you asked Dutton what his position would be on legislation should he form the next government? Surely in order to have all of the detail you need – you need to know what the alternative government will propose.

How will parliaments in the future legislate on the Voice? After all, the change will empower parliaments from here on to legislate on the Voice. Just as Section 51 of the Constitution empowered all future parliaments to legislate on 39 matters “for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth” with not one single piece of detail.

You call it a vague conceptual basis – but it is totally in line with the wording of the existing sections of the Constitution.

You find the information unpersuasive? Fine – I really don’t care about that.

I’ll accept your opinion that you believe it’s drivel. Peter Dutton’s position on non existent legislation is also irrelevant as he is not the one making or supporting a proposed amendment to the constitution.

I’ll also note that you’ve conveniently ignored my first point on how the government could fill the void by adopting a specific voice model to support the basis of the proposal. That would still allow the legislative flexibility that you claim they need, whilst providing information and backing on the proposal that could be more thoroughly scrutinised.

A proposal for constitutional amendment should identify a clear deficiency in the current constitution and provide a detailed case for change. The actual amendment itself can be written in the necessary legal language but that does not preclude the provision of significant supporting detail to justify the proposal, how it would work, the functions, limits and the benefits it would provide and how these can only be achieved through this mechanism.

The government already has the power to make the Voice law, why exactly it needs to be enshrined in the constitution hasn’t been remotely well articulated and the lack of detail is telling.

“… not the one making or supporting a proposed amendment to the constitution.”
Finally the crux of the issue.

We are not being asked to vote on legislation.

We are being asked to vote on a proposed change to the Constitution to insert a new Chapter: “Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”. In that chapter the parliament (not the government) will have powers to legislate on aspects of the Voice. As I’ve said time and again but you conveniently ignore – the proposed wording is totally in line with the level of detail currently provided in the Constitution (again S51 is an example, yawn).

“… why exactly it needs to be enshrined in the constitution hasn’t been remotely well articulated and the lack of detail is telling.”
Not true. The rationale for enshrining the recognition (and the Voice) in the Constitution has been articulated in many articles as well as the Yes pamphlet. Again, as I’ve said before you just don’t like the rationale provided – which matters nought to me as I simply don’t care whether you like it or not.

“We are being asked to vote on a proposed change to the Constitution to insert a new Chapter: “Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”

Yes, we are asked to vote on new vague powers with little supporting rationale as I’ve already said.

The way that the government could provide the details of how those powers would be exercised is through the provision of detail like I’ve outlined.

You can’t on one hand complain about people wanting detail but on the other promote that lack of detail as a positive.

“As I’ve said time and again but you conveniently ignore – the proposed wording is totally in line with the level of detail currently provided in the Constitution”

I’ve specifically addressed it in the last comment, so ironic that you claim I’ve ignored it.

“Not true. The rationale for enshrining the recognition (and the Voice) in the Constitution has been articulated in many articles as well as the Yes pamphlet.”

Completely true. The weak rationale for why it needs to be enshrined in the constitution boils down to “so future governments can’t change it”.

Which is firstly not remotely persuasive and secondly significantly lacking in supporting evidence and information as to why it is a necessary inclusion in the constitution.

And yes, we can tell you don’t really care what other people think by your 10+ replies to other people on this thread alone.

I’ll make it easier for you, chewy. How is the proposed wording of the change to the Constitution any different to the high level wording of S51 of the Constitution covering the 39 matters on which the Parliament may legislate?

Oh and I comment on other people’s posts when they spread misinformation.

“How is the proposed wording of the change to the Constitution any different to the high level wording of S51 of the Constitution covering the 39 matters on which the Parliament may legislate?”

Who has ever suggested it was?

“Oh and I comment on other people’s posts when they spread misinformation.”

Only other people’s posts? I suppose that makes sense, it would look weird if you were replying to yourself.

“Misinformation” seems to be the new catch-all phrase for information you don’t like. Partucularly amusing for someone who has repeatedly refused to answer straightforward questions on this issue previosuly. I even see you’ve thrown in “QAnon” and “cookers” above, definitely convincing arguments.

Have fun with that.

And it’s misinformation like “… repeatedly refused to answer straightforward questions on this issue …” which typifies your responses.
You get an answer you don’t like, and it’s not only from me, and then you say ‘refuse to answer the question’.
Yep – I definitely have fun with that.

except that’s not remotely true, you constantly avoid answering questions or disappear when they out the clear logical fallacies of your position.

Let’s just take one example on this issue. You’ve claimed that this is just about providing recognition that Indigenous Australians were the first inhabitants of this land.

Yet, you are still to answer the simple question of how the Voice specifically provides recognition to that fact that is not equally provided by a simple statement of acknowledgement without the Voice? You’ve been repeatedly asked it to expand on your position with straightforward questions, yet you consistently ignored them.

And just to preempt your obvious deflection from answering the actual question, we are not talking about the entire constitutional amendment, just the specific parts that would give power to the Voice.

Oh chewy, your ability to be loose with the truth when referencing comments by others is amazing.
“Yet, you are still to answer the simple question of how the Voice specifically provides recognition to that fact …”
I recall posting (possibly in response to someone else) something along the lines that I believed the proposal to establish the Voice, and its ability to make representations to the Parliament and Executive Government, acknowledged the special place indigenous Australians occupy in our history – i.e. the first occupants of the land. Perhaps, I didn’t specifically asnswer you – I hate to be brutal but you are not that important that I feel the need to repeat myself for your benefit.
Furthermore, as I have repeatedly said, the fact that you don’t like the answer does not mean an answer wasn’t provided.

Haha, so your response to a comment criticising you for refusing to answer straightforward questions is to once again obfuscate and refuse to answer the question. Can’t make this stuff up.

“Perhaps, I didn’t specifically asnswer you “

Thanks for admitting it, you’ve done it on a number of threads now on this issue, easy to find and directly referenced:

Justsaying: “I am simply acknowledging the first occupants of the land…”

Bob: “Can explain to me how acknowledging the special place in our history held by the first occupants of the land requires a separate level of political representation…”

Chewy14: As for “acknowledgement” or recognition of the fact that there were people here before white settlement, how exactly does the Voice specifically do this?

Justsaying: “Ummm – I can only, yet again, refer you to the proposed wording: “In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
1. There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice”
If you seriously can’t understand that then I’ve got nothing more for you,”

Chewy14: “Once again you refuse to answer the straightforward question that I and now Bob have asked you repeatedly.

How can you possibly not understand the question being asked. Once again I’ll spell it out:

Two statements:

A. we recognise Indigenuous Australians as the first inhabitants of this land.

B. We recognise Indigenuous Australians as the first inhabitants of this land. And there will be a Voice……..etc.

How exactly does statement B specifically acknowledge the historic fact better than statement A?”

Justsaying: *crickets*

Despite replying to other comments multiple times on the same thread, in between and elsewhere. Strange that it always seems to happen when the logical flaws in your position are exposed, isn’t it.

While I recognise your pathalogical need to have people accept your position on everything, sadly (for you) it doesn’t happen, chewy.
I’ve addressed the issues elsewhere and for me the matter is closed.
Queue the crickets and move on.

PS … as for “refuse to answer the question” – I’ll add “to your satisfaction” and refer you to previous comments about my care factor for what you think.

At least we’ve clarified that your position on having answered the question can now be rightly labelled as misinformation.

We can also add an extremely selective memory to the list.

To be expected.

Max_Rockatansky8:50 am 14 Aug 23

Ian Bushnell, why are people only taking about the Gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous, what about the Gaps between city and remote Australians, regardless of racial background?

A to-the-point opinion article, Ian. Yes, I agree – I’m over it all too.

I’ve tried to keep up with the flow of information from all directions on this, and believe my conclusion to vote Yes if an appropriate and, indeed, a necessary one. Others will have formed an alternate view, and that is their individual call. It’s just disappointing that many in the latter position have been influenced by misinformation coming from sources such as Sky News (a demonstrated right-wing service), typically because it worked to feed their fears or doubts.

In simple terms, the proposed change to the Constitution is about setting the vibe (like in “The Castle”) and giving the First Nation people a mechanism to input to relevant decisions affecting them. Parliament will then determine how this will work in an effective and balanced way, and we must remember that Parliament is comprised of members who are voted in by the Australian people (of all ethnicities).

So bring on the referendum, although people’s uncertainty will serve to weight the outcome in one direction only – it’s human nature.

Rob McGuigan6:14 pm 14 Aug 23

Your reasoning (the vibe) and the absolute lack of any other information at all from the ALP and the Yes case is NO reason to change the founding document of this Nation Stuart. Especially to change that document to something that inserts race as the predetermining factor that gives one ethnicity rights that no other Australian has. Lastly, everything that effects Australians it can be argued effects the indigenous minority as well. So every single piece of legislation in our Parliament will have to go before this Voice for consideration. The Government has refused to limit what this Voice can give advice on and they give this advice direct to Executive Government. Because that Voice would then be Constitued it would have the right of legal appeal to the Federal High Court if it didn’t like the Governments decision on anything at all. NO THANKS. I am voting NO.

Rob McGuigan6:30 pm 14 Aug 23

The referendum is done and dusted Stuart. Latest polling has the YES case no higher than the low 40%’s in every state. And, it’s dropping weekly like the proverbial lead ballon. Albo has hitched his political flag to this idiotic idea and just like the referendum when it fails in October so will Albo’s leadership of the ALP Government.

GrumpyGrandpa10:53 pm 14 Aug 23

Hi Rob,

A No vote, as the polls are suggesting would deliver Albo a severe leadership blow. You can’t put so much on the line, like he has with the Voice, and recover. It goes to his credibility.

If there is a change in sentiment and people vote Yes, then anything less than an obvious improvements in indigenous outcomes would be a disaster for him. Albo would then be the guy who acheived nothing other than adding an extra layer of beaucracy and levied the nation with ongoing financial cost.

“I don’t care if it’s one page or 26 pages. The proposition remains simple:…”
You should care. It is not just a simple proposition. The majority of rational Australian adults can detect BS and more and more are asking:
Where are the details,
What are the consequences, How will this solve anything, Who will really benefit, and Why are Yes pushers ignoring these questions while trying to intimidate, insult and denigrate those with differing opinions.
It’s a No from me.

Stephen Saunders7:48 am 14 Aug 23

If it goes down, “United Nations” Albanese 100% owns it, and owns the setback for indigenous Australians.

Stop trying to make it about racism, Murdoch, Dutton, or Morrison. That’s what Albanese wants you to do.

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