Insights from Quadrant

Q&A bookers mess up

A friend of Quadrant last night did what sensible people stopped doing years ago and tuned in to Q&A. Much to his surprise he found some kernels of corn in the standard ABC ordure of stacked panel, supercilious host and planted questions. Our correspondent writes:

In case you missed Q&A, broadcast last night from Mildura, its contribution to the Voice debate was very interesting, and almost certainly not what the ABC had planned. They had a woman leader of a local Aboriginal organisation, plus an Aboriginal guy in the audience to ask a question, and another person in the audience to ask a Dorothy Dix-er.

The leader of the local Aboriginal organisation said she needed more information about the Voice, and that the locals had not been consulted. At this, Stan Grant was a bit taken aback and tried to recover the situation, to no avail. That leader was a switched-on lady, by the way. She explained that, when she caught her son vaping in his bedroom, she removed the bedroom door.

The Aboriginal guy in the audience expressed similar reservations that the Voice looked like a Canberra bureaucracy, and that different areas needed different solutions. He gave the local example of Swan Hill having different needs than Mildura, which is correct. He also seemed like the type of guy that, when work needed to be done, he would do it.

On top of that, Bob Katter spoke of farmers losing their farms and of being attached to their country like Indigenous people. That is certainly true, but it’s not something the Aboriginal Industry ever mentions or wants to hear. Katter and Michael McCormack also spoke forcefully about remote Aboriginal areas being ignored by the Aboriginal Industry.

I estimate the program probably shifted the Voice vote by 2 to 6 points towards the No vote. It probably also prompted journalists at the SMH and Guardian to reconsider their certainty. As to the ABC, they are probably re-evaluating their procedure for choosing panellists and audience.

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