Dutts finds his Voice

Dutts finds his Voice. By Ramesh Thakur.

The Albanese model is neither symbolic nor modest but powerful and open-endedly expansive.

Once embedded in the constitution, it will be impossible to remove, no matter how deleterious it proves and how much damage it causes, without closing the outcomes gap.

Going by experience elsewhere, power, resources and influence will be concentrated in a parasitical elite while doing little to deliver practical outcomes where most needed in the remote communities.

The open appeal to the feel good factor notwithstanding, the divisions and bitterness it has already generated is a small foretaste of the rancour we can expect once the poison of race-based preferential status has been injected into the constitutional heart of the Australian body politic.

It will create a massive new bureaucracy with a powerful vested interest to keep feeding the grievance and victimhood narrative as the most effective means of growing its size, budget, powers and tentacles into every sector of Australian life. …

The constitutional recognition offer:

Tony Abbott … has proposed a pragmatic, sensible and simple solution. Just insert a new clause (shown in bold) in the very first sentence of the Preamble: ‘… have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth with an Indigenous heritage, a British foundation and an immigrant character under the Crown’. On the last, Asian-Australian voices are conspicuously missing in the public discourse. …

(Except from Cover by Sarah Dudley, illustration by Ben Davis)

Dutton can also win the long-term politics. He should make the point, clearly and eloquently, that the symbolic need is satisfied by the constitutional recognition offer. …

Labor can agree to a simple change in the preamble that satisfies the symbolic need and increases the chances of passing. He should offer to work with the ALP in good faith to design a model for a legislated voice that all parties can live with, even if they are not equally happy with it. If Albanese refuses, he will own the failure of a No vote.