Indigenous

10 Reasons Why I Oppose the Indigenous (Activist) Voice to Parliament

20 January 2023

1.7 MINS

1. It’s premised on the lie that Indigenous Australians have no voice to our parliaments. Our state and federal governments all have Indigenous affairs ministers that regularly liaise with many Indigenous organisations. Don’t accept the lie. The first thing you say when someone asks if you support the voice is: “Of course, and Indigenous Australians have had direct voices to our parliaments for years.”

2. It’s racist. It assumes that all Indigenous Australians agree on everything and therefore their will can be expressed in a single voice. We’d never say that about other races.

3. There is not a shred of evidence or even argument to show that it will make any practical difference to Indigenous employment, health, educational, substance abuse, or domestic violence outcomes.

4. It’s a boondoggle — a pointless exercise designed for professional activists and academics who have little idea of how to address practical problems to be able to point to something and say: “This is what we’re doing.” As Ralph Wiggum would say: “I’m helping!”

5. We really don’t know how it will work in practice, and people pointing to 750 pages of details without being able to summarise its workings in a few sentences is no help and shows that those 750 pages don’t tell us much about its operation.

6. Discussion of the Voice has often led to a discussion of a separate and sovereign Indigenous nation in Australia — a Treaty. Indeed, this Voice is seen by many of its engineers as another step closer to two Australias. Two Australias will in reality be non-Indigenous Australians perpetually funding a failed Indigenous state.

7. The so-called Voice will eventually turn into a perpetual call for a Treaty, a Treaty that Australians will never allow, which means the Voice will eventually merely stoke cynicism and resentment among younger Indigenous Australians. It will make social divisions and integration worse, not better.

8. The Uluru Statement from the Heart disgracefully tells Indigenous Australians that they are powerless over their own lives and destinies unless there is this Voice. What a horrible thing to say to a whole generation of Aboriginal Australians. The Statement is thoughtless, lying, and destructive.

9. The Voice and Statement further entrench the idea of two separate and opposed nations, which will dissuade Indigenous Australians from integrating into mainstream Australian “colonist” (“white”) culture. But the only way the Gap will ever be closed is through more integration.

10. We are never told what the Voice will say that has not already been said. If there is nothing new for it to say, why do we need it? If its advocates believe it will say something new and of practical benefit, why not just say it now?

___

Originally published on Facebook. Photo: Nick-D, NAIDOC Week 2016/Wikimedia Commons

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2 Comments

  1. Kaylene Emery 20 January 2023 at 7:19 am - Reply

    The pleasure of listening to the voice of those who are able and willing to articulate why, they agree or disagree! The alternative to such a voice is frustrated incoherence and tyranny.
    Education is not an idle pastime it is an opportunity to learn how to say how to do …….just about anything.
    Thank you Stephen.

  2. Leonie Robson 20 January 2023 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Well said Kaylene.

    Again Stephen you provide clear and concise evaluation on this matter.
    Not unusual for you!
    Thanks brother.

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