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The 'Voice' is a Great Idea ... Apart from All the Reasons it Will Be a Disaster
Nine Reasons the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament is a Dud
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised a referendum next year to include an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in The Australian constitution.
His proposal is unnecessary, discriminatory, divisive, misleading, distracting, hurried, elitist, highly political and little more than a vanity project
Aside from all of that, I don’t see any problem with it!
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is unnecessary because Aboriginal people already have a voice to parliament via their local MP - the same as every other Australian.
Further, we have 11 Aboriginal MPs in the federal parliament right now.
But most importantly, if the PM feels the need to consult Aboriginal people over certain government policies there is absolutely no impediment to him doing so right now. He could pull together an Aboriginal consultancy group this afternoon if he chose.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is discriminatory because it differentiates between Australians based on their race. Australians get one chance to influence parliament, unless they are Aboriginal in which case they get two. This is fundamentally wrong.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is divisive since, by favouring certain people based on race, it separates us from one another and will create animosity.
The principle of one vote, one people, one voice is destroyed by Albo’s scheme. Some people, based on skin colour, are seen as a different people and get an extra voice.
Resentment at such inequitable treatment would be inevitable
The Voice fosters ‘otherness’. ‘Otherness’ fosters division.
But it won’t only create division between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals, it will create fighting between Aboriginals as they compete to see who gets to sit on the various local Voices and regional Voices that get to influence the Voice.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is misleading because it is being sold as “an act of generosity” and of “good manners”. No, it’s a profound change to the constitution. The constitution is a legal document for detailing how the nation operates, it is not a Hallmark greeting card for expressing sloppy sentiment.
The government is not even trying to explain the constitutional detail to people. It is simply appealing to the public’s emotions and telling them, essentially, that they need to vote for constitutional change to demonstrate their virtue.
Their clear intent is to try to finesse the Voice through the referendum process, ignoring talk of details in order to concentrate on the ‘vibe’.
Rarely, in my lifetime, have I seen the public treated with such contempt.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is distracting because it claims to be improving the lives of Aboriginal people while doing exactly nothing to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.
There are enormous problems facing Aborigines, particularly in remote communities. The Voice doesn’t do a single thing to address Aboriginal unemployment, poor educational outcomes, domestic violence, substance abuse or a myriad of other issues. The Voice does, however, distract everyone from those things.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is hurried because most of the details regarding how it will operate have not even been finalised. In fact, the PM is now saying he wants Australians to vote in favour of the Voice and then let politicians decide how it will operate.
If you take the constitution seriously, you take the time to get changes right via clear communication and lengthy consultation. The government is not even pretending to be interested in a thorough process.
Albo’s ‘Voice’ is elitist in that it has been conceived and designed by political activists and it will entrench a particular group of political activists in Canberra. If legislated, the Voice will be celebrated by political types, not by the people in remote communities it purports to represent.
Moreover, the local and regional voices are not elected, they are selected, entrenching political privilege for a few well connected Aboriginal people.
Ablo’s ‘Voice’ is highly political in that it is designed to wedge opponents. The government is hiding details of the Voice while telling people that if they don’t vote for the Voice they are essentially unkind. The government has barely bothered to address the many concerns that have been raised about the proposal, preferring instead to wave them away with claims that anyone who expresses hesitation about supporting the Voice is likely a racist.
And finally, Ablo’s ‘Voice’s is a political vanity project. There is little question, in my mind, that the PM sees this as an opportunity to do something historic for which he will be remembered long after his promised but ultimately ill fated $275 cut to power bills has been forgotten.
Kevin Rudd famously said “Sorry” to Aborigines. Albo will be famous for legislating the ‘Voice’ for Aborigines. The Voice is Albo’s ‘Gough’ moment, designed to enshrine his place in history.
Other than all of that, it’s a good idea.
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