THE Voice referendum is in trouble and that is a real shame!
I will definitely vote YES, because I believe Australia’s indigenous people are a long way from the level playing field they deserve.
Being skeptical about the Voice or wanting to vote No is not racist, but only white people will continue to tell us that Australia is not a racist country.
The blame for the controversy, confusion and misinformation in the community is not Liberal leader Peter Dutton’s fault, although all he wants to do is political point-scoring, so that prime minister Anthony Albanese looks bad if the referendum fails.
The sole blame for all the confusion is on the Labor Federal government, that has dismally failed to explain the details of what a YES vote will mean.
The trust me I am a politician rhetoric is never going to work in a country that is cynical about its leaders.
Much of the debate in the community reminds me of the Black Lives Matter campaign, where suddenly people expressed that all lives matter.
Of course they do, and when expressing that black lives matter, no one suggested that other lives do not matter, or matter less. When one supports Telethon and children, it does not mean that grown ups matter less.
The Voice will not take any power away from our governments, it will not impact on our democracy, and it will not make non-Indigenous people voiceless.
All that we are supporting is giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people better access to those in power, so that better measures can be taken to help them.
We have tried for over 200 years, but have failed to make sufficient inroads.
The life expectancy of Aboriginal people is a lot less than that of others, they are 55 times more likely to die from heart disease, than us wadjelas (white people), and they are not well represented in our governments.
The Commonwealth solicitor general has declared that the proposed amendment is compatible with the system of representative and responsible government. He stated that the amendment would actually enhance that system!
Some people argue that the Voice is racist, but let there be no doubt that our Indigenous people are totally unique and can not be compared with any other culture or group that made Australia their home in the last 200+ years.
As an immigrant myself, who has lived in Australia for 41 years, I can not possibly claim to be in the same league as the longest living culture, that has lived here for more than 50,000 years. That is unique and that deserves, no, demands special recognition!
I wonder though if we got it right this time.
Could the government have separated the constitutional recognition from giving our indigenous people a voice to parliament?
Could better Aboriginal representation not simply have been legislated by the Federal government, and make the referendum just about acknowledging our First Nations people in the constitution?
It would at least have meant that if the Voice referendum fails, Aboriginal people would still be consulted more thoroughly and more often, and we might actually start seeing real improvements for them.
This country can not allow the third world conditions in which many Aboriginal people live to continue.
We can not sit back and watch the slow ‘suicide’ of this very special race, a people we should be proud of, and from whom we could learn so much.
The Voice is not about us non-Indigenous people, but it is about them.
They deserve our respect and support!