Lidia Thorpe, Linda Burney and Jacinta Price (Images: Greens/Facebook/Supplied)
Lidia Thorpe, Linda Burney and Jacinta Price (Images: Greens/Facebook/Supplied)

Anthony Albanese is keen to move on a referendum on the First Nations Voice to Parliament as soon as possible. To quote a traditional second nations' phrase, tell him he's dreaming. Quite aside from the strategic foolishness of rushing into a vote where the basic odds of the set-up are against you, there is now the not-so-small problem of a First Nations opposition to the process from within Parliament. 

The election of Jacinta Price as senator from the Northern Territory, present together with Lidia Thorpe and Dorinda Cox from the Greens, must surely complicate and cause to be reassessed the whole issue of the Voice reassessed. Price opposes the Voice altogether, and the Greens specify that a Voice to Parliament can only come after a truth process leading to treaty negotiations. There are of course several Labor First Nations MPs who support it. But are the politics of it now so unanimous that it deserves no consideration before Labor tries to ram it through with a big dose of emotional blackmail?

The Voice was conceived years ago, at a time when the number of First Nations MPs was shamefully small. There are now 10 First Nations MPs. That is substantial representation, and it puts the Voice movement in a strange position. Because in order to forward it, a white settler government will be negotiating with a group of First Nations leaders who haven't been elected, chiefly Noel Pearson, Megan Davis, Tom Calma and Marcia Langton, to get through a proposal that a number of 10 First Nations MPs may oppose.