Australian indigenous people Have always been deprived of dignity. They rightfully reigned in land for millennia while feckless politicians kept dragging their feet. I have a good mind to grant them an authentic voice.
I shall give anyone in Australia with one full-blooded Aboriginal parent TWO VOTES (one local vote and one in any electorate)
I shall do this to rebalance the scales. This way, if a group of people dislike 12-year-olds locked away, they could add their vote to the PM’s electorate so that our leadership feels the heat of their political indecisiveness
A REAL INDIGENOUS VOICE
Whispers of good intentions from politicians in response to the Uluru Statement From The Heart finally revved up efforts to give Indigenous Australians an authentic voice in the laws that affect them.
A laudable proposal that comes on the back of a long litany of protests sparked by a steady stream of historical atrocities, which we, as Australians, are all too familiar with. Too long have they endured the machinations of intruders, disenfranchisers and their arrogant progeny. If we listen closely through the ages, We can hear the silent resentment of billions of souls.
People peacefully walked this land until the HMS Endeavour brought the harbingers of conquest, disease, and death to Silver Beach on Botany Bay one fateful April.The screams of the hundreds of thousands who fell during the frontier wars. The sobs of the silent generation, the defiant shouts of disgruntled activists, and the laments of countless inmates currently incarcerated on the back of an unjust legacy that has sadly dictated their fortunes.
Section 51 (xxxi) of the 1901 Australian constitution gave Parliament the power to make laws for the “acquisition of property on just terms”. From any person
This a rich irony considering our colonial history of enthusiastically doing the polar opposite. Australia was, after all, terra nullius (a territory without master) within the reckoning of the esteemed James Cook and Joseph Banks when they contemplated it from the coast 250 years ago. Cook and Banks’ reckoning was echoed in Section 127 of the same constitution, which stated:
“In reckoning, the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.
“Section 51 (xxvi) helped cement this grand injustice
By giving laws for “The people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws”.
As we all know, the journey for constitutional recognition has been long and arduous, with Voting and the ability to be counted as part of the Australian population for constitutional purposes.
Voting came more than 60 years later with the passing of the Commonwealth Electoral Act in 1962 and the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) in 1967.
I am not writing this to avoid re-treading a history that we should be all too familiar with in great detail. Or provide a list of injustices that persist and that any right-thinking Australian should want to be finally put to rest so we can continue healing.
I am, however, here to address the ridiculous process of the upcoming Voice Referendum. Which I acknowledge did be with whispers of good intentions. But it has been drowned out and sculpted by the din of endless debate and bargaining.
With horse trading and compromise. To the point where the solution will inevitably be toothless. And too late when it eventually comes.
Lady Justice is usually pictured holding scales as a symbol of her duty to restore societal balance..