Let’s be pessimistic or is it realistic. Suppose the Voice gets up in the referendum.
We’ll have thirty-five local and regional bodies coalescing into either state and territory bodies from which twenty-four reps will emerge to form the Voice. Or at least that’s the proposed model in the Calma-Langton report.
It’s an opaque process. Probably controlled by the usual suspects. It’s the opposite of an open selection process in which electors choose their representative by secret ballot, overseen on the national stage by the AEC. There is a stock-standard pledge by incoming leaders following the conclusion of this process. I’ll govern for everyone not just those who voted for me. Whether this proves to be the case or not, we all know who the everyone is.
Who is the everyone that the Voice will purport to represent? Is it the 812,728 who self-identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders in the last (2021) Census? I suggest that many of those would not be recognised as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders by other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Hmm?
So how many people would the Voice represent? Unknown.
Is there a way of identifying with clarity those who the Voice would represent? Unknown or not remotely likely; take your pick.
Could those people, if identifiable, vote out Voice representatives? No.
Is there a way of judging whether the Voice will adequately reflect the interests of those it purports to represent? No, because there are no elections and, to reiterate, those that it purports to represent can’t be collectively defined with any precision.
Let’s be clear. The proposition to be put to the Australian people (including those who might or might not be recognized as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders) is that we attach to the Constitution a representative body to represent an unknown subset of the Australian population who, even if we could ever define them with precision, will have no say through the ballot box in who represents them. That sounds sensible. Let’s vote for that. Sadly, the likelihood seems to be that a majority will. That would say something about the majority’s common sense. Mind you, it would say nothing that hasn’t been evident these past years. Think of the gullible embrace of the climate-change hoax and the enthusiastic rush to embrace Covid lockdowns, experimental vaccines and useless masks. The Voice will be a shoo-in, I fear.