Australian Government Goes For the Extreme Version of the Voice. By Chris Merritt.
Now that the final text of the proposed constitutional changes has been decided upon, and announced by a very emotional PM who is “all in,” the referendum battle begins in earnest.
The government has signed up to a plan that is so extreme and unworkable it will galvanise the No case by ignoring the problems that have come to light since a preliminary version was unveiled last July.
Instead of fixing those problems in order to split the No vote, the government of Anthony Albanese has appeased the extremists within its own Indigenous working group on the referendum.
Reasonable people who were waiting to see the final form of the proposed constitutional amendment have just been given the green light to vote no.
Apartheid — yes!
Explicit constitutional recognition of Indigenous people was a late addition to this project – and it shows. It seems the real goal has always been to establish an institution of state that would turn back the clock to the days when racial privilege dictated public policy.
Instead of standing up for the egalitarian principles of modern Australian democracy, the government has adopted a proposal that would entrench racial privilege by exposing ministers and public servants to the risk of legal liability.
Two governments for one country:
The executive branch of government would be subjected to a new system of accountability in which real power – the power to sue – would be vested in a race-based institution whose members would not necessarily be elected by anyone. …
If the court decides there is a constitutional implication that ministers and public servants should consider the voice’s advice, or inform the voice before making decisions, the consequences would be disastrous.
Public administration would slow, the bureaucracy would need to expand and decision-makers would be at risk of legal liability. …
If this referendum succeeds, every federal minister and every decision-maker in the federal public service could be at risk unless they inform the voice before making decisions, provide information about matters awaiting decision, wait for a response from the voice and generate a paper trail showing the views of the voice have been considered.
This is ludicrous. How much information will ministers and public servants be required to give the voice about decisions they propose to make? How long would ministers and public servants need to wait while the voice considers its position? …
It is wrong in practice and in principle.
It would destroy the doctrine of equality of citizenship by introducing a permanent system of racial preference when it comes to federal lawmaking and administrative decisions.
It would give Indigenous Australians a second method of influencing public policy that goes beyond the benefits of representative democracy that are already enjoyed by all citizens regardless of race. …
More constitutional power than you
Right from the beginning, when the Prime Minister unveiled his preliminary model for an Indigenous voice, it was clear that equality of citizenship — the bedrock of egalitarian Australia — would be destroyed unless big changes were made.
Yet behind closed doors, the Albanese government has decided to water down the principles of egalitarian democracy to mollify one special interest group.
The Australian narrative-people might have convinced themselves that they are discriminating on the basis of ancestral habitation of Australia, but they’re not fooling anyone else. The South African apartheid regime could have said the same, because whites settled South Africa before blacks (the Zulus had wiped out the natives on one of their periodic genocidal sweeps, just before the Dutch settled), but the whole world knew it was really race based.
Racism by any other name is still racism. Don’t do it.
hat-tip Stephen Neil