OPINION: Calling out the ten reasons to say no

DEAR News Of The Area,

MAY I present rejoinders for the ten points outlined in a recent mailing that refers to website www.oneandfree.au for more information.

“The Voice is legally risky”.

The vast majority of constitutional experts say that there is really very little to no risk at all.

And any action would need to be at the High Court level and to undertake such an action would be at a cost of millions of dollars.

“There are no details”.

There are details in abundance to be found if you look for them.

All details of the referendum proposition are in the words upon which our votes are to be cast.

The final details of how the Voice would function are to be spelled out by Parliament, should a yes vote succeed.

Not by proponents of the yes vote, nor by those voting no.

That detail is the responsibility of Parliament.

In fact there have been no details about any of the prescriptions of our Constitution.

For example, the Constitution tells us that we will have armed forces but not how many planes, tanks and soldiers etc.

“It divides us”.

We have already been divided! By incipient racism as well as by simple numbers.

Even with the best will in the world, politicians can and do ignore Aboriginal issues, because they do not have enough votes to make a difference.

The Voice means that politicians will listen.

But that’s all it means.

“It won’t help Indigenous Australians”.

Somebody should tell them that, because at present 83 percent of them believe that it will.

Even if that help is limited to feeling better for the sake of being heard.

“No issue is beyond its scope.”

The wording of the referendum proposition is very clear on this – the consultation is limited to matters that directly affect Indigenous people.

“It risks delay and dysfunction.”

I believe that some delay over current practices could occur, as some time will be necessary for advice and consultation to occur.

But nothing in the process would allow Indigenous people to disrupt parliamentary processes.

“It opens the door for activists”.

There will be activists attempting to foist their views on the advisory group, whose elected composition will be representative of the whole Indigenous Australian population.

So activist views will be tempered by the majority views.

And in the event that activists succeed in becoming representatives, the Parliament can and no doubt will reject the advice they offer.

“It will be costly and bureaucratic”.

Only if you believe that spending any money at all on the process is a waste can this statement be meaningful.

“The Voice will be permanent”.

Agreed! That is why is has been proposed!

As we have seen in several instances in the past, bodies set up by one or other political party in Australia are wiped out on the slightest pretext by another party once it gains the ascendancy.

However it can still be removed by a future referendum.

“There is a better way forward”.

Presumably this would rely on legislative processes that suffer from the same insecurities just mentioned.

And as for this slogan, “If you don’t know, vote no!”, the counter to this is of course, “If you don’t know, don’t be lazy, you can find out for yourself!”

And this is easy, you can look it up on very many websites, SBS for one and Zali Steggall’s for another, while Liberal member Julian Leeser has created 21 videos on the subject.

Warwick NICHOLS,
Tea Gardens.

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