Voiceless: Unpacking the Voice to Parliament referendum defeat

In this episode, we dive deep into the recent Voice to Parliament referendum, an important moment in Australian politics. The referendum, an important step toward recognising First Nations people in the Australian Constitution, has sparked conversations, debates, and reflections across the nation.

The referendum results were disappointing for many, with 61 per cent of the electorate choosing “No” and only 39 per cent in favour of the proposal. This outcome was disheartening for both the Indigenous community and those who supported the referendum and it means that Australia remains the only colonised country without constitutional recognition of its First Nations people.

The defeat of this referendum raises questions about the reasons behind it. Was it due to inherent racism, the lack of support from major political parties, the influence of disinformation campaigns, or a poorly executed campaign? It’s likely a combination of all these factors. The referendum’s loss represents a missed opportunity for progress in Reconciliation.

The Voice to Parliament, a hope for Indigenous representation, has officially ended, but the work towards Reconciliation must continue. The Indigenous community faces new challenges in light of the “No” vote, and there’s a prevailing sense that Reconciliation is at an impasse.

For the first time, Indigenous people were asked what they wanted, and their request was resoundingly rejected by the electorate. This has left a bitter taste for many, as it seemed like a rare opportunity to make their voices heard.

While the referendum’s completion offers some respite from the heated political discourse, there’s a need to reflect on the misinformation and disinformation campaigns that played a significant role in shaping the outcome. The media’s role in perpetuating these narratives is also scrutinised, with a special focus on News Corporation.

This episode of New Politics delves into the complexities of the referendum defeat, the impact on Indigenous leaders, and the challenges ahead. It emphasises the importance of continuing the journey toward Reconciliation and Indigenous rights in Australia. While the road may be tough, there’s hope that a new generation of leaders will push for meaningful change.

As the nation navigates these issues, it’s clear that Australia still has a long way to go in addressing its Indigenous history and rights.

Music interludes:

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