The Voice

To make a real difference we need to learn from mistakes - both our own and those of others.

The Voice

I’ve tried to keep my powder dry about this proposed Aboriginal voice to the parliament.

It’s a political battle first and foremost, and that’s why I have chosen to leave it to the politicians, until there is a firm proposal on the table.

But in the face of the unrelenting propaganda push by the government, and the support of the woke business elite, it’s time for a reality check of what they are really proposing.

First off though, the lack of detail available from the government is deliberate. Like Denis Denuto from the movie The Castle, they are trying to sell a vibe.

The vibe is meant to redress some perceived imbalance, to ensure Aboriginal voices are heard in our parliament.

Personally I think some of the voices we’ve got there, parading their personal ancestry as some sort of immunity from criticism cloak do Aboriginal people a total disservice.

Some might disagree with that but you cannot disagree with the fact that statistically, those identifying as Aboriginal are overrepresented in our parliament compared to the general population.

I really don’t care about that.

We are all Australians and the people ( and political parties) can choose whom they want to represent them.

However, having another elected body, with special rights, entitlements or privileges attached to our governance, and based entirely on race is a terrible step backwards.

I had the great fortune to observe the previous incarnation of this body many years ago.

It was called ATSIC and it was as dodgy as a three dollar note.

You note I said I was fortunate to see them up close - that’s because I know exactly how hopeless and corrupted the organisation was.

Disbanding it was the best thing that could be done. Now Labor effectively want to resurrect it, but with even more special entitlements.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

But that won’t stop the political push where it’s being positioned as a great step forward and empowering for Aboriginal people to have a say on how policies affect them.

I’ll just point out that they currently  have the same say as the rest of us, plus myriad organisations, policies, funding and opportunities that aren’t available to us all.

These are all designed to improve the health and wellbeing standards of Aboriginal people and in my view they’ve mostly been an abject failure.

By almost any measure, the tens of billions of dollars of annual funding have failed to reduce the incidence of chronic disease, unemployment, domestic violence, substance abuse in many Aboriginal communities,

Although, I hasten to add, the billions have improved the lives of those getting paid to implement the policies and programs in place.

Something different does need to be done but we have to question whether a race-based voice to parliament a step forward or backwards.

In that respect we can learn something from the New Zealand experience.

They have a race-based governance model that can prove instructive of what lays ahead for us should The Voice get up.

Based on research of the NZ experience by the Institute of Public Affairs, the voice would:

  • Become a vehicle for allocating critical social and economic resources such as health, education, and job opportunities on the basis of race, not need;
  • Not merely be advisory, but will wield a veto over important parliamentary debate and government decisions; and
  • Be impossible to repeal, defund, or effectively reform if it proves ineffective, or is acting contrary to what was intended.

While the NZ model began very modestly, thanks to activist judges it’s become a binding quasi-judicial body with significant influence over the parliament.

According to The Voice advocates over here, this wouldn’t happen - but they would say that wouldn’t they?

It’s not as if we don’t have our own activist judges here.

Remember our High court found that a couple of non citizens with some traces of Aboriginal blood, who moved here as children, were unable to be deported on character grounds. That's  just one recent decision we should worry about.

But even without the judicial activism we should be concerned.

The PM said in July:

“it would be a very brave government that said it shouldn’t’ follow the edicts of the Voice to Parliament”

Imagine if we’d had that same approach to the first incarnation of a parallel Aboriginal parliament - ATSIC. One could only imagine how much worse things would be than they are now.

Rather than committing ourselves to replicate the mistakes of others or to recreate our own, Australia needs to learn from past experience.

That experience shows that The Voice will only divide our country along racial lines.

That’s the very thing the current crop of activists for it claim to have been fighting against for decades now.

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