The yes-vote argument misses the point



On May 2nd, the Epoch Times published an opinion piece titled “Jesus is to move Australia forward collectively.”

The article argued that opponents of The Voice argued that The Voice’s proposed constitutional fixation rejected “the central tenet of liberalism: the idea that we should be treated equally.” claiming to be

The authors of this article argue that this argument by the NO camp presents an “ideological and unrealistic notion of liberal democracy.”

The “central tenet of liberalism” they refer to is probably the principle of “political equality” or “equal citizenship”.

This leads to the idea of ​​group rights rather than individual-focused liberalism, and thus the principle that burdens and benefits should not be distributed based on involuntary characteristics that people cannot control, such as race. is.

However, the article argues that reliance on core concepts of political equality is “affluent given the history of unequal treatment suffered by indigenous peoples.”

we disagree.

The sweeping claim that Australia’s history is one of ‘unfair treatment’ is, in our opinion, misleading at best and false at worst.

Epoch Times photo
An indigenous man makes a spear at the Garma Festival 2022 in Gurukura, East Arnhem, Australia, 30 July 2022. (Tamati Smith/Getty Images)

Since World War II, governments around Australia have established hundreds of Aboriginal institutions to maintain and foster a burgeoning and costly Aboriginal bureaucracy.

Billions of dollars are being put into it, and we are making a conscientious effort to fill the gap.

Indigenous property and land rights are firmly established in the Australian legal system.

In the 1850s, Aboriginal men gained the right to vote under the constitutions of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. As such, Aboriginal men had the same voting rights as any other British man over the age of 21.

Then in 1962 all Indigenous Australians were given the right to vote.

On the other hand, the fact remains that this article’s emotional and passionate plea to The Voice violates the principle of political equality today, in order to atone for the systemic violation of the principle of the past. .

Indigenous Voices to Congress Is a Bad Idea

Regardless of how you look at the past, in our opinion this is a very bad idea.

Locking in an institutionalized Indigenous Voices institution locks Australia into a governing agreement that violates the principle of equal treatment for all citizens.

But this article claims to fix past discrimination with a big chunk of future discrimination. we don’t

We believe Indigenous voices are undermining the long-term future of Australia’s liberal democracy (which is one of the most successful countries in the world, based on comparative standards).

Epoch Times photo
Australia Day Delighters pose for a photo at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia, 26 January 2018. (Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

The author of this article also argues for the highly controversial view that Aboriginal Australians were not counted.

“They were excluded from the 1901 Constitution under the provision that they should not be counted,” the author writes.

I suspect they relied on Article 25 of the Australian Constitution to make that claim. This is often cited as evidence that the Constitution contemplates denying franchises on racial grounds.

This section contains:

“If the laws of any state disqualify all persons of either race from voting in elections to the House of Representatives of a greater number of state legislatures, calculate the number of persons in that state or federal In that case, those races residing in that state will not be counted.”

Things are not so clear.

Two of the co-authors of this article argued that Queensland and Western Australia practiced racism in the 1890s by not allowing people of exclusive Aboriginal ethnicity to vote in state elections. I have argued elsewhere that this section is included in the Constitution.

Framer opposed this practice and wanted these states to be in line with all other states, states where Aborigines already had franchises.

Article 25 is therefore more properly understood as an anti-racist provision. to punish Australian states that still discriminate against Aborigines by reducing their representation in the newly established Commonwealth Parliament if they continue to do what they are doing.

Many disagree that voices improve outcomes for indigenous communities

The article goes on to claim that The Voice will “improve practical outcomes in Indigenous communities.”

This is a claim, nothing more. Many object, including many Aboriginal Australians.

And of course, no one in the Jesus camp knows how, exactly, how this will happen, that is, how the constitutionalization of Indigenous voices will change the situation on the ground for Aboriginal people who are in bad shape right now. I haven’t tracked how it improves.

Instead, much of the YES camp has an amorphous appeal to symbolism and moral virtue.

Epoch Times photo
Aboriginal flags during a Black Lives Matter protest to show solidarity with US protesters and demand an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody June 13, 2020 in Perth, Australia (Trevor Collens/AFP via Getty Images)

Let’s be clear.

We believe the evidence clearly shows that Indigenous voices are likely to lead to bad rather than good outcomes.

It seems likely that we will create a highly political body dealing with rent-seeking. It soon came to be seen as a political party by the rest of us, splitting even Aboriginal communities.

Agencies that absorb huge amounts of money and demand dedicated bureaucracies make it harder than ever to pass laws in this country, making judicial adventurism and judicial activism quite likely elsewhere in the world. I’m making it expensive. the way.

It may be of benefit to some parts of Australian society. But that would come at a pretty big price for many of us.

The article also asserts a deep-rooted elitist view of democracy, which is implicitly based on the worldview of identity politics that the rights of groups are at least as important as the rights of individuals.

We believe that the government’s proposed constitutional fixation of The Voice will not unify Australia.

Instead, it perpetuates the schism.

It forces Australians to see the world through the prism of race, and worse, further divides Australians along lines of race and ancestry.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.