Sep 21, 2012

Nobody was very serious on Aboriginal constitutional recognition

Constitutional recognition for Aboriginal Australians was always doomed. Nobody in government wanted it badly enough, especially in the midst of a federal election.

Chris Graham

Tracker managing editor

Just as you can’t negotiate with a terrorist, you can’t negotiate with an Australian government in the lead-up to a federal election. At least, you can’t if you’re an Aboriginal Australian, because you’re likely to find yourself on the wrong end of a dog whistle.

And that’s why the shelving of the plan to reform our constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is welcome news.

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11 thoughts on “Nobody was very serious on Aboriginal constitutional recognition

  1. jchercelf

    Nothing surprises me about lack of understanding of Aboriginal Inequality … Our dreadful shame as a country, supposedly civilised.

    I have been trying to run a campaign about the absolute necessity of educating Aboriginal young , from Kindergarten up to at least age 16, in order to break the vicious cycle of inbuilt hopelessness and often auicide in these young people, this education is their BIRTHRIGHT.

    I have given up on the petition because of the inability of anglonsaxon Australians to do ANYTHING to help the problems listed above. Some of the white ladies,just can’t forget the behavior of the river camp Aborigines on the outskirts of the towns the whites lived in … And it was bad behavior … But we have to fix itmformher the youngest up.

    COME ON AUSTRALIA it is our responsibility to use whatever it takes to Remedy the, at present, hopless future for our Aboriginal Young.

    Joan Croll

  2. Liz45

    Sadly Chris, you’re correct, although it pains me to say it. I can not understand why anyone would have an issue with the just action of changing the Constitution and include indigenous people in it – unlike now, where racist aspects are still in it, and successive Govts have even removed the one Law that outrules racism – the Racial Discrimination Act – how shameful!

    I feel very sad indeed, and ashamed! I’ve read the new Constitution of Venezuela for example. The whole process involved the people; steps were taken to ensure that regardless how poor the people were, they were included. They created it, then it was publicly discussed etc, they voted on the Draft, and then when it was completed, they voted again! I haven’t read all of it, but I do recall those aspects that positively included the indigenous people! It covered marriage rights, rights of women, children etc and the rights and responsibilities of all citizens. I thought it most impressive. I think Equador has either done the same, or is in the process – using the same concept of inclusiveness! It’s impressive! Why can’t we do that?

    Why is it OK, sacrosanct even, to maintain the racist/sexist views of the men of early 20th Century. Their ideas didn’t include the rights of anyone except Anglo-Saxon males in too many instances! We have changed in many ways for the better since then; we’ve grown in attitudes to women’s right to work etc, why can’t we have a Constitution that is flexible and able to be changed with the change in attitudes! Why is it still OK to only mention indigenous people in the sections relating to flora and fauna?

  3. Bob Durnan

    Hurray! more facile drivel from the pompous self-appointed
    non-Indigenous spokesman for Aboriginal liberation. Why does Crikey continue to humour this pompous git by publishing his peacockery?

  4. Modus Ponens

    I can’t believe we have to have a debate, and then postpone that debate about removing racist sections of our 1901 constitution…. Says a lot about our leaders and the population they follow.

    Just to add the coalition’s reasons for not supporting the referendum was because they didn’t think it was a reform Gillard was capable of delivering and should be postponed until Abbot was in.

    Disgusting how George Brandis et al put their own egos and political pettiness before people who deserve far more respect than our polity offers them.

  5. jchercelf

    and Bob Durnan, do you have an opinion on Aboriginal Inequality ?

    Can you help us to be fair to our Original Australians??


  6. Steve777

    The coming federal election will be poisonous and there is no point trying to get any referendum up this time around, on Aboriginal recognition or anything else. Anything other than the blandest statement that Aborigines were here first will be opposed and misrepresented by an opportunistic Opposition. History also shows that a defeated referendum tends to kill off the push for change for a long time, possibly for a generation or more.

  7. Bob Durnan

    In reply to JCHERCELF @ 5:06: I support the recommendations of
    the Dodson committee. My point is, if you give the job of reporting
    these matters to a hardline ideologue like Chris Graham, you are just going to get a partisan account which positions him as the moral and strategic arbiter and prophet of Aboriginal advancement, as you can see from the pretentious, superior approach in his article here. In the process he will sneer at and smear just about everybody involved,
    without providing a fair or useful analysis of the ways we can better work together to resolve the important and difficult issues involved.

  8. Oliver Townshend

    All I read was the opposition of Aboriginal groups. It was doomed.

  9. wbddrss

    Macklin cited
    ” citing a lack of community awareness for the decision”
    as being reason for change of strategy. I note the huge resources existing government has over opposition to win election using public service propaganda machine, media units & PR consultants…all timed well before an election. The same ALP expects us to believe a lack of community awareness is a threat when the mitigation is all that public servants & governments do in Canberra. Something smells here!


  10. minnamurra

    Excellent! this is the truth of it in a nutshell. Why does crikey continue to allow Bob Durnan air to breathe on this site? He continually makes personal attacks instead of addressing the issues. At least some of his most vicious personal attacks should be moderated. He is the pompous, puffed up, self-appointed spokesperson for people who barely tolerate him if they are not chasing him with a boondi.

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