The Voice

A Question That Trades on Ignorance

On the verge of a confected blubber, tellingly befitting tragedy rather than triumph, Anthony Albanese explained that all Australians had to do was vote ‘yes’ to the referendum question:

A proposed law to alter the Constitution to recognise the first peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. “Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

This is entirely deceptive. Political shenanigans. Most people have not been following the ins and outs of the debate. I know, I’ve tested people whom I know. The question explains nothing. Albanese is banking on snowing people; playing on their naivety; on their goodwill; on their emotions.

The referendum question should contain elements of the insertion to be made into the Constitution; and more, as I will explain, if voters are to be halfway informed. Below is the latest form of the proposed insertion. I have shown changes from the form originally proposed by the prime minister. Added words and changes to the order of words are shown in brackets, consequent deletions are shown as strike outs.

There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the parliament and the executive government [of the Commonwealth] on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The parliament shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws with respect to [matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its] the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

The only change of substance is that the Parliament is no longer restricted to making laws on the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Voice but can also make laws on other matters to do with the Voice. But, importantly, making representations to executive government remains a power of the Voice despite objections by the Attorney-General, and by a number of legal commentators who have retained their nous and common sense.

My point is not to do with basic objections to the Voice. Nonetheless, it bears repeating that it will give rights to one group denied to others purely on the basis of racial origin. Why this is acceptable in an enlightened democracy is beyond reason. Why it is supported by certain senior members of the legal fraternity is explicable only in a society gone badly wrong.

There are numbers of ways modern-day society has gone wrong. In this particular case, it comes down, I believe, to extoling victimhood. Lots of Aboriginal people have been convinced by contemptible leaders that they are victims without agency. It’s a hateful thing to have done; it brings people down; makes them mendicants. Robs them of their self-regard. As to legal eagles, don’t be fooled, not all of them are very bright (e.g., condemning Cardinal George Pell because in their view it wasn’t impossible for him to have done it?). Some are ambulance chasers seeing opportunities in victimhood. Many are thoroughgoing leftists intent on piling mischief and misery on civil society.

To my point and the stripped-down simplistic Voice referendum question. This was the question in the republic referendum of 1999.

A Proposed Law: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament. “Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

This was the question in the 1967 referendum on the status of Aboriginal people.

Question. DO YOU APPROVE the proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution entitled— “An Act to alter the Constitution so as to omit certain words relating to the People of the Aboriginal Race in any State and so that Aboriginals are to be counted in reckoning the Population”?

Of course, the constitutional amendments themselves were more detailed but still the essential detail is in the questions. People who hadn’t closely followed the debate would have understood the substance of what they were voting for or against. Not so with the Voice.

The proposed question has no detail at all. It simply asks whether you approve of the Voice. This wouldn’t be nearly solved by adding to the question part of the words proposed to be inserted into the Constitution (specifically the second paragraph). It would still leave the question short of essential detail, like how representatives constituting the Voice will be elected or selected and by whom. Here is a more informative question. Bear in mind that you might do better. I’m no expert at drafting referendum questions.

A proposed law to change the constitution to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body called the Voice, which will make representations to the parliament and the federal government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and whose members will be appointed by communities of those peoples in the States and Territories in ways determined by the communities in question. “Do you approve this change?”

As we know, the last thing the pro-Voice crowd want is better-informed voters. Hence the simplistic question as it stands. As Robespierre put it, “The secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”

17 thoughts on “A Question That Trades on Ignorance

  • Michael says:

    And, never forget, sneaky, sneaky Albanese has committed to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. Voice, truth, treaty, and sovereignty never ceded.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    A view “from the man on the street” as it were. An aboriginal or one who claims to be one already gets some 40K or is it 50K more in benefits than do we white people, they get preferential treatment with schooling mostly ignored by them in many outback settlements, they have “land rights” over more than fifty percent of our country, they also have representation through their members of parliament, the same members of parliament we white people have, they had ATSIC and that cost we taxpayers extraordinary amounts of money, time and effort, only to be rorted and corrupted, and now they want another ATSIC on sterioids for it will be enshrined in the constitution and we other Australians will be second class citizens in our own land. One supposes, actually knows that the ordinary Aboriginal man on the street in some of the godforsaken settlements won’t be better off for this farce, only those beating the drum will be better off, and to put it simply, the b…dy drum beaters don’t care else they would be in those terrible settlements trying to educate the people and convince them to “lift their game,” and those people can lift their game given the resources already to hand thanks to the taxpayer largess. We must vote “no” in the coming referendum.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Very well put together Peter, good phrasing and spot on all the points. The sophistry in the tricky little question is so obvious you can almost taste it, with the suggestion being that the aboriginals are not even recognised….yet.
    Incredible. We’ve been getting nothing but aboriginals rammed down our throat for the last 50 odd years in legislation and social & historical references etc, starting with Whitlam. We know what the aboriginals are alright, but we still don’t know who they all are, after all Pascoe’s supposed to be an aboriginal but if you passed him in the street you’d swear blind he was a white fella. But sophistry has been fooling people ever since the time of Socrates, will it work now ?
    I certainly hope not, for both mine and our country’s sake.

  • STD says:

    Great article Peter.
    I’ll take some license, if I may, and succinctly paraphrase.
    “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it”(Mark Twain).
    Albanese and Co’s mantra – keep ‘em in the dark and feed em bull.
    In regard to Roger Franklin’s no none sense strip-As for that highly intelligent twit Greg Craven – God bloody help us when a man of his stature lacks insight – more legalistic socially acceptable socialist softening mealy mouthed pre Shorten-communist BS.
    Just because people have a law degree certainly does not endow them with any degree greater than the average savages common sense.
    The voice is nothing short of these political and legal left leaning, thinking elite, to begin in earnest, to rape and pillage the very foundations of the constitution-The Peoples Democratic Republic- to quote Peter Garrett a little out of context,”Don’t worry we will change everything once we get in (the),”(power).
    Track offset.
    As for that doyen of vanity Frank Brennan- can someone in the upper echelon’s of the Catholic Church inform this left leaning Lawyer and his left leaning Jesuit mates of this certain ilk, that we in the congregation’s can do without the Marxist political meanderings from the pulpit- we come to Mass to receive the spiritual humility of Christ, not the outdated and now the outsourced Marxist-priestly political vanity- and prognostication’s, from the sanctity of God’s pulpit – from what should be the sanctuary from lies, deceit ( political will) and distorted worldly views (sicknesses)
    Maybe what is required is a third collection, whereby those of us offended by the political incursion and meanderings into the Mass and liturgy,- climate con, economic asylum, and all the queer notions and refugee status on the perversion that is equality and equity, women-priestly vocations, “Welcome to Country”, and of course Greg Cravens moronic have an each way bet, voice, (swinging vote).
    Some of us would pay good money in envelope form, to have you shut up and allow the Gospel to shine a light on what actually matter’s, and leave the political musings, whose heart is the rat trap of the mind, to a soap box outside your nearest ablution block,Mathew 21:12-17.
    There is nothing, absolutely nothing sacred about politics, and it should not be used to overshadow the honest goodness that is embalmed in God’s good nature and word(worx),and not found in the inanities of political vanity.
    Some of what is occurring at the level of the pulpit is an extension, some sermon’s are straight out of the Chinese Communist party’s religious interference manifesto – the other hymn sheet.
    Your remit, should you accept it, is Priestly. Luke 22 from go to woe.

  • pmprociv says:

    Any competent lawyer will advise you, before signing an important contract, to carefully read the fine print. Here we are being cajoled into signing a monumental contract, while many of those learned lawyers (just like PM Albanese) are telling us to ignore the details, just feel how good it will be. Something very fishy is going on — and, as Albo et al. have said a few times, “If we show voters the details, they won’t vote for it”. Do we really need to know any more?

    In my limited experience, Aboriginal groups are strongly averse to having their interests being represented by other groups; they want to speak for themselves. How is The Voice going to achieve happiness and harmony across the country, if it has only, say, 25 members speaking on behalf of maybe 500 different tribal groups? The fireworks will be truly spectacular.

    And, to belabor a point, bringing in The Voice is predicated on the assumption that Aborigines don’t already have a voice to government, which patently could not be further from the truth. If anything, they have far too many (often contradictory) voices, which is why the Coalition of Peaks was set up, comprising representatives from ONLY THE LEADING 80 (yes, EIGHTY!) indigenous organisations from around the country, expressly to advise the government on how to close The Gap. Why has it not been doing its job? If it has, what’s going to happen to it once The Voice gets up? Oh, I get it — it will advise The Voice! Talk about gravy trains and snouts in troughs . . .

  • Adelagado says:

    Peter, the referendum question is not just lacking in detail. It’s a duplicitous non-sequitur designed to trap the unwary. How could anyone not wish to ‘recognise the first peoples’?

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Well said, Adelagado. The NO case should definitely be that this is not just about ‘recognition’.
    That it has many consequences that will affect everyone, not just aboriginal people.

    Hence, a simple Mantra should be the common sense one:
    ‘If you don’t understand it, don’t vote for it. Vote NO”

  • Blair says:

    “A proposed law to alter the Constitution to recognise the first peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. “Do you approve this proposed alteration?”
    Why do you have to enshrine in the Constitution a Voice to recognise the”first peoples”.
    Surely a few words would suffice.

  • maxpart27 says:

    The members of the Voice will be able to restrict identifying as Aboriginal to only those who are at least 50% Aboriginal. This will be hugely advantageous to the Australian taxpayer because the number receiving the welfare benefits because they identify as Aboriginal will be reduced from over 800,000 to less than 100,000.

    • STD says:

      That’s discrimination.
      Which means the Voice will be dictating the terms of its existence to the executive – again, therefore unelected and unrepresentative swill.
      The Chinese Communist Party says it is Democratic as officialdom in the hierarchy of the party are elected by a vote- not however by the majority of the poor ordinary Chinese citizens, but by CCP chosen party delegates, that by the way no longer includes a former Chinese President who was forcefully removed from this democratic process against his free will.
      Some are equal 50%-100% and some are not as equal 1%- 49.9999999%,and some will never be equal -0%
      50% Aboriginal is not 100% Original ,therefore cannot be classed as Aboriginal, physically, spiritually, psychologically, mentally and for that matter intellectually-Republic lying- it is within that light that I arrive at the thesis-misrepresentation under representation-lying is a red flag.

      • maxpart27 says:

        You miss the point. If Albo has his way and there is a Voice this is one way it could be an advantage. It cannot be racist because it is them doing it to them.
        Other thoughts:
        The members of the Voice will be able to ensure that students work at school. My great, great, great grandfather who was a convict received 25 lashes because he did not want to work. So the current problem with Aboriginal students who will not go to school and study will disappear because on each occasion they refuse to partake in education they will be flogged.
        Problem solved.

        My great, great, great, great grandfather who was a convict received a death sentence for stealing 17 sheep. The members of the Voice will be able to sentence Aboriginal students who steal motor cars and drive them dangerously to one appropriate to the 21st century such as 100 strokes of the cane.
        All those in the car receive the sentence.
        Hence no more car theft.

        • STD says:

          Sounds altogether very Utopian.
          Begs the question tho, why aren’t these children listening to their parents voices in the here and now, now?
          I presume they are eager and want to work and learn ,but just not now.
          Do they require legislated authority to tell them when and how to discipline their children and how, or doesn’t this legislated discrimination and discipline work?
          And why aren’t these kids being punished for stealing motor vehicles and driving dangerously now? There are already laws in place for this,or don’t they like the laws your talking about?
          And by the way how do people living off welfare afford a motor vehicle anyway? Especially when they haven’t even earned the right!
          Why and don’t they respect and revere Aboriginal elders and policeman and teachers,now?
          Why do they need power, when power already exists in the Australian Commonwealth ?
          By the way you sidestepped my point, did you not?
          “Hence no more car theft”,- people who work and earn an honest living do not need to steal, as is their want.
          I guess at the end of the day you are prepared to take the politicians at their word again and presumably on their 50 odd year track record of lack lustre achievement in this area.
          Only a fool places his trust in liars
          These children should be educated and rotated through the Army on or off country, whatever it takes.
          Old fashion no nonsense discipline and hard arse authority is the only way to get these kids on track.
          Your left wing progressive mates created this problem purposely;by taking people away from meaningful employment, and giving them nothing to do with their hands-I doubt very much they would like to actually fix anything, as the driving force behind Marxism is to destroy and wreck society, it’s value systems and it’s functionality in order to bring into effect and the realisation of the degradation of civil discourses and replace it with animalistic Darwinism.
          The Voice is just another con in the long list of left wing con jobs that are always perpetrated on, and prey on the ignorance’s of people, who’s vote they need to exercise the aphrodisiac of power- incidentally, over people they hold in utter distain and in total contempt.

  • STD says:

    By the way, the So called Aboriginal flag is the endorsed flag of the Australian Communist Party-the A-‘L’-P / and the eat your greens party.
    It represents the dark cowardly art of Red deceit – the lie- the voice.

  • Tezza says:

    Well argued, Peter. Your contrast between the deceitfulness of the question to be asked about ‘Voice’ and the wording of the Constitutional change had struck me too, but your comparison with the honesty of the presentation of the question about the republic is very telling.

    The question about Voice is so deceitful that I wonder whether it may be open to some procedural or legal challenge itself, before the referendum?

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