Every Australian already has access to a powerful Votergram Voice to every Australian Parliament. By one Votergram, one pharmacist persuaded parliament to introduce cheaper generic medicines for us all.
Others have other ways of influencing government. Bodies like RSPCA, BCA, ACTU lobby for their members. A similar government funded voice for Indigenous Australians would be important and may well need constitutional recognition to be permanent. Votergrams empower all Australians, not just one group.
Exact wording of any amendment to our constitution is important, to know exactly what is being done. To hide that for fear of “a fight” over exactly what is proposed would seem dishonest. It could earn lawyers millions in court cases, at our cost.
If we are all to fund and respect The Indigenous Voice we should know who it will represent; how its governing body will be appointed or elected and what power it will have to influence parliament.
In the end the effectiveness of the voice to Parliament depends on the evidence-based logic accompanying any request or suggestion. Parliament always needs to be convinced of the fairness of any requests or suggestions.
But right now the rest of us can urge governments to offer our regional, rural and remote communities, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, the same level and quality of educational facilities, health care, owned housing, childcare, aged care and career opportunities as in capital cities. Cost is not a question in Advancing Australia Fair. The highest earners in Australia currently pay the lowest marginal tax rates.
What we probably can be convinced of in respect of the Indigenous Voice is that it will not use money in the form of political donations to bribe and bully our elected representatives as some other groups do currently.
It is a puzzling aspect of democracy that to achieve a fair go we each have to make our own case to convince the parliament to do what is fair for us. With 17 million voters and 26 million Australians that is the only way it can work. Our elected Parliamentary Representatives cannot be expected to try to think up what we all need, then provide it. We, the people of Australia know what we want and need from our daily experiences in our own communities and contacts, just as Aboriginal community members know best what they want and need.
Votergrams have taken the wishes of thousands of Australians politely and persistently putting them before each politician for the past 36 years. In most cases they have been accepted, like the availability of cheaper generic medicines, suggested by this one wise pharmacist from regional NSW.
Aboriginals surely have a right to a permanent government funded voice, as the British government early Australian governments and many early settlers took all that the Aboriginals had, land, freedom, children, daughters, wives and killed many others. That body should have no more power over government than to convey an Aboriginal viewpoint.
Aboriginals do surely deserve recognition in the constitution as owners of Australia before the British invaded and authorised their murder, rape, kidnapping, enslavement and child abduction.
Fair-minded Aussies do not have to wait for a referendum. They can use their Votergram voices to persuade our governments to rectify past wrongs by bringing the Aboriginal community up to speed with home ownership, health care, education and career opportunities through compensation for what was done to them, to be paid mostly in services.