Downunder Thread

to put it in some kind of perspective…

i voted yes, and as i told my daughter…not because i thought it would significantly ( please note the use of that word) change the plight of the first australians…but because i didnt want the top end of town to think we didnt give a fuck about each other…even at 40% yes, its enough vote for the powers that be to realise the appetite of the australian public is not to fuck over their neighbors.

i have zero faith that a succesful yes vote would miraculously change the plight of the first nations peoples.

im far from Lidiya Thorpes biggest fans…but shes got a point

Of course not, but a no vote does send a message that the majority population aren’t interested in the welfare of the original population, and that can’t be positive for future relations between the communities.

1 Like

its not so black and white…

on one hand i agree it would hve been a greta nessage.

on the other hand…a lot of ‘no’ voters were very much of the opinion of ‘nope, this is a furphy…you need to come up with something better’

its not for no reason that a lot of idegeanous folk advocated ;‘no’

to be simplistic…to go to a referendum…on such a shite question…that was the true disgrace.

read the question on the balot… what a cluster fuck.

Not necessarily. The referendum was doomed once Mr Potato Head decided it was politic to oppose it. Always been that way in Oz that bipartisan support is essential for a referendum to get up. Typical arrogance from Albo to think he could just announce an intention to do this upon election before first establishing the political base necessary. Just look at the republic referendum - sure it was defeated but the country sentiment is more republican now than it was then - and just like then this is more about the uncertainty (more unjustified here than wrt the republic) about how the mechanics would play out.

In practical terms, states are legislating for a voice equivalent - this has already happened in SA (where the Yes vote was sub 40%).

1 Like

I agree that the actual wording of the question on the ballot - like in a lot of referenda- was poor, but I struggle to actually believe had someone who understood exactly what they were voting on - and that’s not hard for one’s self without just swallowing what an opposition leader is telling you -would vote No, unless race was playing into their decision making.

What were your friends against? A committee to help the welfare of ATSI’s? They voted no because they think the question could have been worded better? I’ve spent days trying to understand a logical reason to vote No so i’d love to understand what those reasons are from someone who knows No voters.

The question:

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

I really hate whoever invented this ‘Voice’ catchphrase. I don’t think it has helped.

Why couldn’t the question have been:

A Proposed Law: to write into the constitution an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander committee to advise to Parliament and the Executive, to improve First People’s welfare.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

Put it in black and white exactly what the vote is (remember, the above is the only change this proposal was to make) on so Dutton and his Cronies can’t twist the idea and divide the population.


Yes, I really don’t see how voting against this helps relations between the communities.

It’s really not that big a deal. As I have already said, it’s being legislated in the states and already has in SA and there is nothing stopping the Labor govt doing so federally either.

The vote was about adding permanence to an ATSI committee by writing it into the constitution. Of course such a committee can be created by the federal government when they want, but it’s also just as easy for the following government to dissolve it as soon as they take power.

How can we expect such a committee to function effectively if their existence is only guaranteed for 1 election cycle?

And just to reinforce this argument that it’s not really about ‘racism’ and more about reluctance to change:

I particularly found this chart interesting. The axis of Yes and No support lines up quite closely with the 1999 Republic referendum - more than it does with the 2022 2PP, and much more than it does with 2PPs back in the late 90s.

— Ben Raue (@benraue) October 15, 2023

Per Simon Jackman:
“If it were possible somehow to show not only the voice vote, but also the same-sex marriage plebiscite and the republic referendum, you would see very similar maps of Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane. The boundaries aren’t the same, but if you could see that the pattern would be striking and I think that says something powerful about the contours of ideology in Australia.”

It’s easy to shrug your shoulders if you aren’t part of the indigenous community. I’m not sure if it is no big deal for them.

The referendum correlations strongly suggest that the result is more indicative of a resistance to change (and a poorly argued campaign) than the racism that some on here have alleged. And the indigenous community is not a monolith - as confirmed by the range of campaigners amongst indigenous groups.

Actually I had some interesting conversations in Tasmania with some campaigners, likely Yes, even as they claimed to just want to provide information, and even insisted on still talking to me about it after I said I am not Australian.

A hard hitting question is, what do you think most Australians would say Yes or No to “do you think the original people of the land had been unfairly treated by the country?” Or something along such lines. That would really give an be straight to the point and from there it will easier to know what most Australians really think and devise campaigns for this topic?

I haven’t really followed this referendum as I don’t feel close enough to be able to make a comment for or against the proposal having lived in UK for close to 20 years.

I do remember the republic referendum and the shitshow that the Yes campaign put together in QLD where a large number of people that would have voted yes didn’t agree with model that was put forward so voted no.

Had they left the exact model of voting for HoS open to be decided after the referendum, I think it would have more likely been voted by the public, but they didn’t agree with leaving that power in the hands of the politicians.

So my question to you, and to the others in Australia, Do you think the wording used on the proposal and the model being put forward hindered the campaign more than the actual idea?

I have been avoiding this topic on ABC for weeks thinking that it’s some talent show. :person_facepalming:

1 Like

Well if you take the idea as that “ATSI people should have a formal avenue to be heard on matters that concern them” then I’d suggest that support with the population would be about 70% (where the baseline vote stood prior to the ‘voice’ campaign). However I also think there is a large percentage of Australians who may not object to this being implemented in practice by the legislature but aren’t invested enough in it to vote to change the constitution to do so.

I think the No camp played a smart campaign. They never needed to convince people that No is the right answer. They just need to create enough ambiguity and doubts of what Yes and it’s unseen implications for people to think otherwise and they succeeded

EDIT: a No victory is disheartening but it would be over arching to say that majority of Australians are racists towards the aborigines. Sure there are, but surely not majority of Australians.

If ‘smart’ politics is simply a matter of opposing then sure. Not sure that I’d call that smart though. A sure fire race to dumbed down libertarian corporatised fascist hell.

It’s smart because they managed to convince those who were still deciding probably to vote No. That was one of the concerns that the campaigners I talked to were concerned about, the No campaign harping on the unknown and unseen implications of voting Yes.

What could have been the motivations or the objectives for the No campaign?

1 Like