Passing Bull 346 – Objecting to the Voice

Some of the objections to the Voice proposal are troubling.

Here is one correspondent to the AFR.

The Australian people love and respect our Indigenous communities and want them to prosper.  Voters will not tolerate legislators persistently ignoring them.  Simply take a look at the Closing the Gap reports.  What a disgrace.  Nothing closing there after years of no meaningful action.  Parliamentarians should listen to voices in every electorate.  We do not need a special body, and we are not going down the path of becoming a race-based society.

The core of the argument appears to be that the proposed body is not necessary – we do not need it. 

That is curious, since the writer believes that our response so far shows that we persistently ignore indigenous communities, which we love and respect, and that that is a disgrace.  And to say that people have a duty to do something is no reason to oppose the creation of a body that is meant to facilitate the discharge of that duty. 

Finally, it appears to be suggested that the proposal will lead us down the path of being ‘a race-based society’.  Assuming that you can give some meaning to that phrase, why is it suggested that we are not there already, given the disgrace referred to above, and why will the proposal lead to that result?

Next, John Anderson likes to see himself as a wise elder – ponderous, but well-intentioned, and wise.

People who have genuine doubts and genuine questions [about the Voice] to ask are being shamed over an expectation to sign a blank cheque in relation to the rule book we all live by as Australians.  We’re being shamed into supporting something when we haven’t been given the detail.

The suggestion that people have not been given enough detail is not valid.  But let us assume that some proponents of the proposal are behaving badly by ‘shaming’ people.  That does not entail that the proposal itself is bad.  Otherwise, every church in the land would have had to shut its doors years ago. 

In truth, this is a simple case of playing the man rather than the ball, a habit that the speaker picked up in politics.  His website is a monument to complacent immodesty.

The inference I draw is that the objectors are moved by other considerations.

And as a matter of intellectual honesty, people objecting to the proposal should say why there is no need for it, or why they have a better plan.

Here is a letter in support of the proposal that the press did not publish.

Dear Editor,

When the English planted their jail on this continent, their commanding officer had instructions from King George III for treating with its first owners.

‘You are to endeavour by every possible means to open an Intercourse with the Natives and to conciliate their affections, enjoining all Our Subjects to live in amity and kindness with them.’

That did not happen.  On the contrary, new arrivals treated those already here cruelly and with contempt.  And later European arrivals continued that mistreatment for generations.

As a result, this nation is sorely wounded.

Many of all kinds now wish to put in our constitution a right of the first people to be heard in governing this nation.

I do not understand how those claiming the benefit of all that has followed the European accession here can say No to that request – at least not those who are responding reasonably and in good faith.

Since 1788, this land has seen winners and losers.  Do the beneficiaries really mean to deny the victims the right even to be heard?

Voice – objections – not Murdoch – Anderson.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s