NO to the Aboriginal Voice — Western Australian Campaign Launch

NO to the Aboriginal Voice — Western Australian Campaign Launch. By Dr Marion Hercock.

Despite having been invited to the event, representatives from local newspapers, other than The Light Australia, did not attend. A journalist from The West Australian newspaper had spoken to the organisers of the event, but there was no coverage or even mention of the seminar in the State’s leading newspaper. …

Mr Nyunggai Warren Mundine, AO, an Australian statesman of Aboriginal and settler origin, … noted that a separate Aboriginal Voice in the Australian Constitution is a massive challenge to democracy.

He explained that the perception that Aboriginal Australians do not have a representational voice to government is false. There are already about a thousand communities advising government. Aboriginal Australians are citizens, having been British subjects since 1788. They had the vote before the 1967 Referendum, in fact since Federation in 1901. Aboriginal people in most States have always had suffrage.

He added that there is not one nation-state in the world that has not had a rough start, and that discriminatory rules that once existed have all disappeared. There are protections in place, so that people from other countries see Australia as a place of opportunity and fairness. Hence it is a ‘melting pot’.

Around twenty years ago, we were told that this country is ‘racist’.  Yet that has not been Mr Mundine’s experience, because our institutions make it possible to address any such issues.

A small group of Aboriginal people went to Uluru and came up with the concept of ‘the Voice’. But that concept would undermine those institutions that protect against discrimination, and therefore make things worse. We should start focusing on what the Aboriginal Voice really means, and stand up against it.

Corporations and organizations funded by the government promote the guise that ‘the Voice’ is about being ‘nice’ to Aboriginal people. But real empowerment for Aboriginal Australians is economic participation instead of welfare, having a job, running a business, and owning a home. Empowerment will not be achieved by wrapping up a bureaucracy with another black bureaucracy to create an even bigger and more expensive bureaucracy.

Emeritus Professor Moens, one of the nation’s leading constitutional lawyers …

The subject of his PhD thesis (some forty years ago) was equality. He wanted a ‘colourblind’ society, in which there is equal treatment for all, no special rights and no distribution of benefits on the basis of race. Australia will lose its colourblind orientation and become racist if ‘the Voice’ referendum succeeds. People should be appointed on merit rather than race. He wants ‘political equality to reign supreme’.

We are repeatedly told by government that ‘the Voice’ is going to be an advisory body only for matters that affect Aboriginal people. What does this mean? If there is an obligation to accept the advice provided, we run the risk of undermining the legislative arm of government. All laws affect Aboriginal people, because the law is currently applied equally.

‘The Voice’ will be just another example of ‘symbolism over substance’, but will not help anyone (except the raft of bureaucrats paid to make it work). We need substance, not an expensive symbol like the Aboriginal flag flying on the bridge over Sydney Harbour. …

The composition of ‘the Voice’ as a solely Aboriginal advisory body is shaky because there will be a need to be a system to establish who is Aboriginal. Such a system will be onerous and dangerous, because it will characterize people by their appearance and blood — an unhealthy development, akin to Nazi Germany.

We are told by the Prime Minister that we need ‘the Voice’ as part of the reconciliation process. But what does ‘reconciliation’ mean? It is an ambiguous term with no set definition or what needs to be achieved. Is there a movement to seek ‘reconciliation’ by or with other people?

The Aboriginal Voice in the Australian Constitution will be a slippery slope towards a treaty and Aboriginal sovereignty. The demand for a treaty is right there in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. …

Luca Proietti Formaggio is the co-ordinator of Generation Liberty at UWA. He is an alumnus of the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, which sponsors Western Australian university students interested in philosophy, economics and public policy. …

He presented the case of New Zealand, which has a Maori ‘voice’ and a treaty. In less than fifteen years, that ‘voice’ went from an advisory body to a Maori-only court, which made all kinds of decisions while unrestricted. It has become so bureaucratic that it is like an aristocracy. There are also Maori-only seats reserved in the New Zealand Parliament. …

The reality is that more money and more bureaucracy cannot fix the plight of the Aboriginals who are in trouble. They can only do it themselves.

Read it all here.