In case you haven’t been across the news lately, Australia’s media pundits and political commentators are mortified by the Albanese Government’s decision to hold a national referendum over whether or not we should include Aboriginal people in the constitution.

There is also a great deal of skepticism surrounding the idea of providing Aboriginal community leaders with a platform to advise politicians on their unique socio-economic issues – and offer strategies that might help mitigate the very visible rates of disadvantage and near-third world suffering amongst Indigenous Australians.

With Indigenous people experiencing a near 35-year gap in life expectancy in some communities, when compared to the rest of the nation, it is not surprise why many are arguing that the current system is not helping – and pushing for an Indigenous Voice.

While the concept of an Indigenous Voice does seem like an unprecedented approach to these issues – especially for our traditionally risk-adverse nation – the government has clearly indicated that the Indigenous Voice will not have any veto powers over Australian lawmaking or tradition, and will serve only as an ‘advisory body’.

So basically, a room in Parliament House for Indigenous elders and community leaders to convene – and for politicians to visit if they have any policies they would like to run by the Indigenous community, or questions they would like to ask about cultural protocol or lived experiences.

However, even allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into Parliament House as an advisory body is too much for Australia’s conservative media and political classes – who would rather nuke this entire referendum than ever share the halls of power with ‘them’.

The Murdoch media and Liberal Party’s hysterical fear that letting Indigenous people into Parliament House is somehow an affront to the power structures that have served them so well – is reminiscent of their fear that allowing gay couples to get married would result in beastiality.

Australians as a whole, are not surprised that the same exact multi-millionaires, who live in nice waterfront suburbs, miles away from any of the catastrophic socio-economic issues facing Indigenous people, are so staunchly opposed to changing anything that might empower our most vulnerable citizens.

In the same way that they thought the gays were violating the sanctity of marriage as an institution, these increasingly irrelevant conservative elites are terrified that allowing even a couple of black people into Parliament House would compromise their stranglehold on wealth and power in this country.


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