The Extraordinary Voice

The Prime Minister’s suggested form of words for insertion into the Constitution to create the Voice seems to be the preferred option. For its proponents, it has the distinct political advantage of being extraordinarily vague. Presumably it will be the substantive part of the referendum question. It goes like this:

  • There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • The parliament shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

It might pass. After all, how many among the voting public have the least familiarity with the Australian Constitution. Not many, I’d say with some confidence. They will not understand how extraordinary is the proposed insertion. No other body created by the Constitution (e.g., the House of Representatives, the Senate, the High Court) is without a level of detail as to how it’s constituted and its powers. These are not left to legislation. Legislation is fluid, subject to the politics of the day. The only thing we’ll know about this new constitutional creature is its name. To repeat, that is extraordinary. And its proponents hope to get away with it.

Another extraordinary feature of the promised referendum is that the vague, indistinct, undefined creature called the Voice can already be created, courtesy of the 1967 referendum, under Part V, Section 51 (xxvi) of the Constitution. This allows the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws for “the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.” So, to make it clear, Albanese want a constitutional change to insist that he does what he can already do and is keen to do. But exactly, precisely, what he wants to do he is keeping to himself until after the referendum. Then he’ll tell us what he wants to do.

Mind you, even if he were tell us what he wants to do beforehand, a new government could do something entirely different. The Constitutional amendment is not the least prescriptive. Which, when you think about it, also gives the High Court carte blanche to fill in gaps. And it undoubtedly will because we know that whatever is done to appease the Aboriginal lobby it will never, ever be enough. Cases will be brought before the Court.

If a racist provision is to be inserted into the Constitution at least put the details in. Better still. Here’s a novel idea. Get rid of Section 51 (xxvi). Ensure that race is never a factor in any law made by the Parliament.

58 thoughts on “The Extraordinary Voice”

  1. Thank you.

    Albanese is hoping there will be enough people who won’t given serious thought to Big Voice and just go along.

    Some of us would like to see a list of all organisations set up for Aboriginal people.
    As the proponents believe Aboriginal people do not have a voice and have not been adequately considered/looked after, then all persons running such organisations should resign from their positions.

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  2. Here’s a novel idea. Get rid of Section 51 (xxvi). Ensure that race is never a factor in any law made by the Parliament.

    That’s a naive idea.
    One particular Race or another could present problems and need to be isolated for security reasons or perhaps their own protection.
    That happened with Japanese, Germans, French and Italians in the period 1939-45.

  3. Some of us would like to see a list of all organisations set up for Aboriginal people.
    As the proponents believe Aboriginal people do not have a voice and have not been adequately considered/looked after, then all persons running such organisations should resign from their positions.

    Yeah, but that’s not really the issue.
    The issue is giving the Labor Party the power to create a Third Chamber of Parliament to [supposedly] represent people with a Certificate Of Aboriginality.

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  4. As the proponents believe Aboriginal people do not have a voice and have not been adequately considered/looked after, then all persons running such organisations should resign from their positions.

    That’s just Bloodymindedness.

    Who knows what proponents believe?
    Probably not much, but that’s not the issue.

    Aborigines in remote areas have 3 problems that are insurmountable:
    #1. Average IQ of 58
    #2 Psychopathy rate of 16%
    #3 Low impulse control
    The Coombes Policy of moving Aborigines to Outstations on land useless for agriculture or pastoral industry is genocidal.
    The results speak for themselves.
    Peter Dutton has addressed the situation by asking Albanese what he’s doing about that.
    Sooner or later, he’s going to have to answer those questions.

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  5. The issue arose at the Victorian State Election.
    A Labor Party Candidate in Inner City Melbourne claimed to be a Proud woman of one of the Tribes and she had a Certificate Of Aboriginality to prove it.

    Andrew Bolt went on the attack, and incredibly [to me] produced Michael Mansell as an expert to deny her Aboriginality.

    The issue also arose with a blogger a few years ago.
    He was obviously an Aborigine, but he couldn’t qualify for any Government Schemes to give Aborigines a hand up because he couldn’t get that Certificate Of Aboriginality from members of his tribe who were authorised.
    He’d been brought up by non aboriginal people.

    Denial of the Certificate isn’t appealable, by the looks, and neither is granting of the Certificate.

    2
  6. Andrew Bolt went on the attack, and incredibly [to me] produced Michael Mansell as an expert to deny her Aboriginality.

    The woman looked slightly Aboriginal to me from photos in the paper, but the point was that a female ancestor a few generations back belonged to a Tribe in the Swan Hill area and someone up in Swan Hill who had the authority to write the Certificate did so.

    There are a lot of people in Queensland with some Aboriginal ancestry
    [who keep it quiet], country Victoria is likely the same.

    In my opinion, you’d hafta have rocks in your head to volunteer your name into a Government database of Aborigines, but it looks like there’s still plenty of people who trust their Gubmint.

  7. Arguing that the Voice is Racist is the wrong argument.
    Everyone’s over being lectured to about racism, they just tune out.

    3
  8. How dare anyone have a different view on the holy Voice (whatever it it).
    That’s divisive!

    Peter Dutton accused of seeking division on Indigenous Voice (Sky News, 23 Jan)

    Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has been accused of acting out of self-interest and stoking division as the Liberal Party considers its stance on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

    With campaigning to accelerate through and beyond Australia Day, big business is considering how it will lend support to the ‘Yes’ campaign.

    What was that name for a government, again, where big business works closely with socialists?

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  9. Yeah, Chalmers is more or less standing over Big Business, which has even less credibility than the Albanese Government.

    The Unions are pretty quiet.
    What would be their rate of Aboriginal Membership outside of Public Service Unions, a tenth of 1%?

    2
  10. Thank you, shatterzzz

    Aboriginal radio/television/hotline/corporate ‘awareness’ lectures would all come under Small Voices.

    Plenty voices

    Big Voice: powerful, mixed-race women and men seeking more power

    5
  11. Legislation is fluid, subject to the politics of the day.

    This is the theme of a piece I intend to write about the tyranny of Parliamentary sovereignty, whereby having a majority of bodies in two particular rooms at a particular time permits the government that owns those bodies to pass just about anything they like regardless of the party platform at the last election, what the majority of the population actually want, flouting all traditions and precedents and even common decency.

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  12. I could have written “owns or recruits” to take account of other bodies that don’t notionally belong to that party that can be bribed or otherwise tempted to join in the venture. Thinking of the Teals who have pledged to support the voice in the house even if the referendum fails.

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  13. Calling this proposed new body “The Voice” is a way of avoiding defining it. Is it a committee, a board of directors or an authority with legally defined membership, responsibilities and accountabilities? It’s a typical leftist fudge aimed at creating confusion and an emotional response. I suggest it be renamed The Boomerang as it will certainly come back to haunt us.

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  14. It is just more provocation, clearly designed to “upset” a part of the population.

    The idea is to get a “bite” or two, usually with a bit of focused further “needling”, then the full majesty of the law and the LSM will fall on the indiscreet (and therefore, undesirable).

    Pour encourager les autres, of course.

    Rinse (off the blood) and repeat with the next “existential crisis”.

    “Government” 101.

    7
  15. How has the Clarke case been going lately?
    Someone remind people about the details, essentially a host of charges of malpractice against a man who was a leading activist.

    3
  16. So this is the final demand.
    Reconciliation achieved.
    or just another milestone for the grievances that can never be assuaged, no matter how much of other peoples munni they throw at it?

    Erase race.
    The French model (for all its faults) where there is no hyphenated Frenchmen is far preferable to granting national governance based on tribal affiliations.

    2
  17. We do not enjoy parliamentary sovereignty in Australia anyway.

    Not that Morrison cared, he tried to enjoy some prime ministerial sovereignty.

  18. So this is the final demand.
    Reconciliation achieved.

    The agenda has been in place since 1975. The next step is a Treaty, involving massive sums in “compensation” and “reparations” – 2.5% of G.D.P. paid “in perpetuity”, in addition to all monies received already – and finally, a sovereign Aboriginal State, all funded by the taxpayer.

    4
  19. Zulu

    Once the costs begin to bite, the enthusiasm will wane. It is inevitable that they will overstep the mark, they are too stupid to do otherwise.

    4
  20. and finally, a sovereign Aboriginal State, all funded by the taxpayer.

    Can’t we just go straight to a sovereign state immediately?
    We can have a Partition, like India and Pakistan, only more peaceful.
    Then they could do whatever they want and not bother us.

    4
  21. Undecided on where I stand on it – on one side, it’s racism and born of fashionable concepts of ‘identity’ and is anachronistic insofar as it treats people from Tasmania and Torres Strait as kin. On the other, much of the opposition to it seems blind to the injustices wrought on indigenous Australians.

    For the suggestion that it has no constitutional countarpart, I suggest you read the Constituion more closely. This body has existed for about 20 years (at two long removed intervals) since federation:

    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22constitution%2Fconstitu%2Fconstitution101.doc%22

  22. Undecided on where I stand on it – on one side, it’s racism and born of fashionable concepts of ‘identity’ and is anachronistic insofar as it treats people from Tasmania and Torres Strait as kin. On the other, much of the opposition to it seems blind to the injustices wrought on indigenous Australians.

    For the suggestion that it has no constitutional counterpart, I suggest you read the Constitution more closely. This body has existed for about 20 years (at two long removed intervals) since federation:

    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22constitution%2Fconstitu%2Fconstitution101.doc%22

  23. “…whereby having a majority of bodies in two particular rooms at a particular time permits the government that owns those bodies to pass just about anything they like regardless of the party platform at the last election, what the majority of the population actually want,…”

    Hence why we need to bring back secret ballot for parliament – by making the vote of politicians publicly available, the party can punish those who go against them, regardless of what their electorate actually want.
    If my vote to elect my rep is secret, why isn’t his vote in parliament secret?
    Same reasons apply to both – you can never vote your conscience if how you vote is public information!

    2
  24. I argue that the Prime Minister is sovereign;

    1. The PM decides what or what will not go to referendum by controlling the House of Representatives.
    2. Can make himself Minister of Everything, he wasn’t the first PM to take multiple ministries.
    3. Can make departments exist or not.
    4. Advises the GG in Council
    5. Appoints the GG, the King cannot refuse.
    6. Dissolves Parliament and summons it.
    7. Appoints Federal judges, there is no Senate oversight.
    8. Can make delegated legislation unquestionably when Parliament does not sit, he can be the Minister of anything.
    9. Holds prerogative executive powers formerly of the sovereign.
    10. Can repeal Federal legislation up to one year’s old but this has not been used yet.

  25. A key indigenous advocate says he fears reconciliation could be lost “forever” if the Voice referendum was to fail.

    Noel Pearson – sorry, I’m over the moral blackmail.

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  26. “the opposition to it seems blind to the injustices wrought on indigenous Australians”
    Give me a break. My ancestor was a Sicilian sailor who was arrested in London and transported, presumably against his will, to a foreign country in which he was imprisoned. When he was released, he was not returned to Sicily. Why does that injustice not deserve the same consideration?

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  27. There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

    this is all you need to know – they want an indissoluble ATSIC

    5
  28. Kneel

    Hence why we need to bring back secret ballot for parliament – by making the vote of politicians publicly available, the party can punish those who go against them, regardless of what their electorate actually want.
    If my vote to elect my rep is secret, why isn’t his vote in parliament secret?
    Same reasons apply to both – you can never vote your conscience if how you vote is public information!

    I had an exchange of emails with a Liars MHR about 20 years ago. He felt that secret ballots in Parliament would encourage corruption (the obvious corruption of party-line voting did not bother him). The exchange ended when he commented that if he had wanted to make up his own mind, he would not have joined the Labor Party.

    1
  29. PS, if you can track a copy down, Basil Smith wrote a good booklet on the subject around 30 years ago, called A Chariot of Fire, Secret Ballots in Parliament.

  30. Two quotes from the incomparable H. L. Mencken:

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”

    “There is no idea so stupid that you can’t find a professor who will believe it”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a majority of the electors of this nation vote Yes at the forthcoming referendum.

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  31. I wouldn’t be surprised if a majority of the electors of this nation vote Yes at the forthcoming referendum.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, either, but the look on the faces of the “yes” voters when the demands for a Treaty ramp up should be worth a laugh.

    2
  32. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Two things the High Court will certainly be interested in:

    1) The breadth of the term “on matters relating to“; and
    2) The meaning and extent of the term “representations“.

    Whatever legislative powers Albanese reckons to hold back for Parliament and the Executive Government, it is likely that ‘matters relating to‘ will be read as widely as possible – (hello First Nations perspective on Income Tax Assessment Act (Amendment Bill)); and ‘representation‘ will likely take on the executive meaning developed in the Fair Work Act – with the attendant implied obligation on Government to participate in good faith and settle, or compromise in negotiation with the representative.

    Best possible outcome: sclerotic arteries of government.
    Most likely outcome: compromise rivers of munni and preference rolling out of Canberra.

    There is an easy and obvious fix.

    The parliament and Executive Government may consider, but is not obliged to act upon the representations made by the Voice.

    The fact that there is nothing explicit tells us a lot about the politics of the issue.

    2
  33. Pyrmonter, the Interstate Commission was purely a piece of administrative machinery. It bears no comparison withe proposed Voice. In any event, it is still has more detail to it.

    1
  34. This is the theme of a piece I intend to write about the tyranny of Parliamentary sovereignty, whereby having a majority of bodies in two particular rooms at a particular time permits the government that owns those bodies to pass just about anything they like regardless of the party platform at the last election, …

    When has this ever actually happened in Australia, though?
    Fraser had Majorities in both Houses, did nothing.
    Howard had the same for 2 years, did nothing.

  35. The pre 1967 Constitution was perfection itself.

    The Federal Government could make Laws pertaining to any Race, apart from the Aboriginal Race [and obviously the White Race].

    There was no problem with that and it should never have been changed.

  36. Well, obviously Violence has been Greenlighted for some reason.

    The Cops can easily lock up the ringleaders, since the pay them as Registered Informants anyway.

  37. Pearson should really pull his head in. His sonorous abuse is really wearing thin. Nobody is game to call him on it. Still, Cape York Institute has been a roaring success. Well funded too…..

    1
  38. Where do you go to with that argument, though.

    The Wokesters would laugh it off, Albanese would call it divisive, and, outside of Katter Voters, everyone else would be mystified and assume you’re an idiot.

    BTW, what’s Katter’s position on the Voice?
    Because 80% of his electorate would be voting No.

  39. This is simple:

    I do not support apartheid;

    I never have supported apartheid; and

    I never WILL support apartheid!!!

  40. Give everyone a break, First Time Poster.

    The Issue isn’t forced segregation of the Aboriginal Race, it’s the Labor Party wanting permission to change
    the Constitution without explaining what Legislation they’re proposing to enact afterward.

  41. Ed Case,

    You pose as a student of history/politics/economics/whatever, but you take such a superficial position on absolutely every topic you write on, any teacher would have to mark you D-.

    Dig a bit deeper and apartheid is about constitutionally giving benefit and protection to one, often minority, group based on their genetic makeup. This is what happened in South Africa, parts of the United States, and precisely what “the Voice” aims to do. Just because the benefit is toward “people of colour” this time does make it different.

    This was beautifully parodied by The Goodies, back then n the day when the brought in Apart Height in South Africa, when all the people of colour left.

    1
  42. ArgyBargy

    Richard Cranium (Ed Case) regards himself as a genius polymath, and has a fixed belief that his opinions are superior to those of any commenter who arrived here later than he did.

    He is a genuine Richard Cranium, aka Dick Head.

    1
  43. The insight of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, on the Alice Springs situation: “I think alcohol is one of the main contributors to some of the problems”.
    That’s extraordinary.
    This Minister is leading the push for a probable ‘third chamber of government’ – a treaty down the track?
    I don’t see a “shoo-in”

  44. Dig a bit deeper and apartheid is about constitutionally giving benefit and protection to one, often minority, group based on their genetic makeup. This is what happened in South Africa, parts of the United States, and precisely what “the Voice” aims to do.

    Huh?
    Whites were a Minority in parts of the United States, and were constitutionally given benefits others didn’t receive?

    What, ah, History Books did you find those pearls of wisdom in, Digger?

  45. This is what happened in South Africa, parts of the United States, and precisely what “the Voice” aims to do. Just because the benefit is toward “people of colour” this time does make it different.

    Riiiight.

    Changing The Constitution is going to lead to Aborigines livin’ High on The Hog, the way the Boers in South Africa used to?

    Look pard, it’s a free country, mix Alcohol And Prescription Drugs and then go on a rant on the blogs if you must, but don’t expect to be taken seriously, even by SpongeBob.

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