Andrew L. Urban
Perhaps cynically, I am delighted that the PM is making such a hash of the discussions in public about the proposed Voice referendum. He and others, I might add, like the erstwhile Attorney-General reading out Linda Burney’s tweets as details of what the Voice will be/do. It helps to show up what a bad idea it is and how this bad idea defies band aiding.
Recognition of Aboriginals in the constitution doesn’t need a Voice.
If you were serious about setting up a focus group (aka Voce) committed to improving the lives of those that need it, surely you would include a representative sample of them. Say, like a dozen women from remote communities who know the problems and challenges first hand – and how change might look. You would also include people with experience in remote education, employment and health care. You would avoid useless, privileged activists who exist only to create relevance for themselves. But $40 billion a year doesn’t seem to buy that kind of pragmatism.
But why are all previous bodies tasked with advising government on issues to do with Aboriginal matters incapable of doing so? Why have they all failed to do what the Voice is expected to do? If they haven’t, why is the Voice necessary, unless it is formulated in a revolutionary new fashion – of which we are ignorant … and so, it seems are its proponents? The good will of Australians is no longer in question and doesn’t need a divisive referendum to prove it. It is only divisive because of how it has been framed and presented and how useless it appears to be.
Ultimately, the only genuine way to improve life for those dusty and damaged remote communities, though, is by encouraging and helping them towards assimilation over time…the way most of their brothers and sisters have, who find a decent life among Australians who welcome them and treat them as equals in every way. Indeed, in some respects, they are advantaged. Welcome to everyone’s country … Neither purse strings nor vocal cords can do the job. It would be no more than a karaoke club for activists.
A patronising Voice from ‘above’ has nothing to do with the problem it is supposed to solve, it would just add to the hubbub.