Is Voice a condescending insult to Indigenous people?

welcome back Sincerely,our Fridays will delve into the letters and comments you think are the topic of the week.

Readers have taken to their keyboards to tell us what they think of the Liberal Party’s decision to back a vote against the parliamentary referendum in Indigenous Voices.

Illustration: Matt Goldin

Illustration: Matt Goldin

Standing on crumbling ground?

When Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price claimed Aboriginal children were being placed in the care of abusers, letter writers and online comments questioned the couple’s true intentions:

Duncan After a decade in power, this is suddenly a new issue, at a time when the Coalition is looking for a trap to make it look like they care about Indigenous people, while at the same time being opposed to having a voice for them. This is gutter politics.

JNM By prosecuting your case based solely on hearsay when you are determined to destroy sound, you can easily cause the ground to crumble under your feet. That’s where Dutton and Price are now — very precarious.


Maximum power Of course, these allegations back up the case for voices: getting the voices of those affected by these issues, and they want it resolved.

David Rush, Lawson Let’s assume for a moment that things are indeed as bad as claimed. The Commonwealth can go all out, as it did when it intervened. This has worked great in the past! That’s what voice is about – listening to Indigenous peoples, not acting unilaterally. This situation is exactly why we need speech.

Greg Thompson, Vega After a decade of Coalition rule, some Coalition members now say their policies in Alice Springs have been unsuccessful because local Aboriginal people have no voice. And without a hint of irony.

Colin Bass, Turramurra Why wait until now to address the serious problems of Indigenous children? Do the Coalition believe Labor and Anthony Albanese are up to the job more than they do themselves?

Bill Atkinson, Camelot Price wants to “put the lives and responsibilities of children on the federal stage.” Please tell me why they think Canberra is the right place to manage this important role and not the right place for the voice.

Simon Holliday, Taree Since 1788, most Australians have turned a blind eye to the human rights of Aboriginal people. Peter Dutton knows that his moral diatribe will reinforce voters’ indifference to their voices.

Illustration: Matt Goldin

Illustration: Matt GoldinCredit:

Will those who need their voices most be silenced?

Warren Mundine describes himself as Australian, the son of a father who was a member of the Bundjalung First Nation of Australia and a mother who was a member of the Gumbaynggirr and Yuin First Nations of Australia.he to Herald Readers Why He Opposes Parliamentary Voice, Hundreds of Readers Respond:

Farosh Merismus Sound lumps all Aboriginal peoples together, despite the many countries speaking hundreds of different languages, and assumes they all have the same point of view. This is a condescending insult to all Aboriginal people.

Avalon 1 That’s very kind of you, Warren. Those who need a voice will be silenced! I want the sound to fail. We need to completely rethink Voice and come up with something better. How dare we white people think we know best the voice needs of Indigenous peoples.

mandridian Mundine is playing word games to add to the confusion caused by his partner Dutton. You are an ordinary voice, but many have said it, and this voice is the result of their decisions. I’m going to vote up on Voice.

Alfredo Bustos-Ramirez, Mosman If Mundine really believes that the term “aboriginal” does not include his ancestral country, he should urgently contact any member of the Voice Committee for an explanation.

Saratoga Gregory Sale This change to the constitution will not resolve past grievances, but it is a way of bringing us all together as Australians.

Ron Sinclair, Windradyne Far from being a tool to “destroy” Indigenous peoples, voices are empowering, accountable and transparent so that all Indigenous voices can be heard.

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Credit:Illustration: Matt Goldin

Is Dutton in a long game with Voice?

The Liberal Party is in a strange and damaging vicious circle, with Peter Dutton seeing no benefit from his decision to fight hard for Indigenous voices, writes Heraldchief political reporter David Crow. Online comments and letters have mixed opinions:

badge Dutton is doing something right. Sometimes you have to insist on doing what’s right, even when it’s unpopular. As it happens, time will tell if it falls out of favor. Regardless, he should stand his ground. If those who prefer racism to equality are kept out, so be it.

Helen Peter, please don’t change course and drag your right-wing fanatics underground.


michael g Dutton is not serious about the referendum. If he was, he would ask the more popular Liberals to take the lead on the veto, rather than himself and Senator Price. For most, Dutton’s sanctimonious carping and Price’s constant bombast aren’t really music.

a worried mother Under Mr Dutton, the Liberal Party has become less and less relevant. He is certainly casting himself as a Tony Abbott-style leader of the opposition who adds nothing and opposes everything.

Greg Phillipson, Aranda (ACT) The league’s problem may be the salesman. However, no matter what he tried, Dutton was unable to sell products that most Australians didn’t want to buy.

unhappy Dan The Sounds will be closer than many think and probably won’t stand up, giving Dutton his first win. Then he would come out and say his first act as prime minister would be to recognize Indigenous Australians in the constitution and pass legislation (but not include it in the constitution) to give a regional voice to parliament. He’s playing a long game.

Matt Goldin

Matt GoldinCredit:.

Is the referendum doomed?

As many as 20 per cent of voters are considering ignoring the Indigenous Voices referendum, a poll has sounded alarm bells for political leaders. Herald editorial. Fortunately, well-informed readers seem to be very involved in the Voice debate:


annie People reject the “no” position not because it doesn’t get a fair hearing, but because the more we hear it, the more hysterical, dishonest and ridiculous it becomes.

Kevin Lots of people plan to vote no, but just don’t want to say it out loud. This referendum is doomed because it will only create more bureaucracy and delayed decision-making.

Elizabeth Dutton, Lien Wan West The Liberals have made a major tactical error in using voice as a political tactic to bolster their position. If Mr Dutton pursued the opportunity to work with the government in a bipartisan fashion to actually improve the good voice to the satisfaction of most Australians, he would find a stronger footing for his political ambitions. He could have been a co-author rather than a historical footnote.

Steve Rothschild, Thalgarrah The coalition’s veto of voices shows how irrelevant they have become, but also highlights how they continue to do damage to the country, even in opposition.

Mary Julian, Glebe It does seem unusual that we actually need a yes referendum result so we can treat Indigenous Australians equally and humanely.

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