Noel Pearson

Last week, your correspondent asked a few questions about the "Uluru statement from the heart", now a year old, and the proposed referendum question arising from it: one in which all Australians will be asked to authorise a particular quasi-parliamentary body, the Voice to Parliament, which, once embedded in the constitution, will have Indigenous representatives elected to it, and then negotiate a series of treaties between first peoples and settlers, to create a new Australian settlement. Your correspondent noted -- as a potential voter on such -- a number of questions about this: the tactical/strategic one of how such a baroquely complex political object would get past the fiendishly difficult process of a referendum, and what would happen if they achieved this wildly unlikely result?