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The Voice Referendum

Here's what you need to know now that October 14th has been announced as the date for the The Voice to Parliament Referendum.

Anthony Albanese announced the official date that The Voice Referendum will take place. In the lead up to the 14th of October, here’s everything you need to know about The Voice and what’s at stake for the Albanese government

First, let’s quickly recap the arguments from both sides of the debate. 

The ‘Yes’ Camp

Proponents of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament are focused on the future and the large strides the nation can make in terms of recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution and paying respect to their people and culture.

  • First Nations people get to have a say in the issues that affect them, enabling more equitable and fair policies. 
  • The proposed Voice has been carefully created in consultation with both Indigenous communities and legal experts.
  • Enshrining The Voice in the Constitution establishes it as a permanent fixture in Parliament, thus allowing it to evolve overtime without the possibility of being repealed by future governments. 

The ‘No’ Camp 

Opponents of The Voice have voiced concerns about the inner workings of The Voice and how this constitutional amendment will practically affect our political system.

  • The Voice is more of a symbolic fixture that can be ignored by the government and cannot account for all First Nations voices 
  • A Voice to Parliament cannot account for all First Nations voices, and in particular overlooks rural Indigenous communities and peoples 
  • Establishing a Voice to Parliament is a legally unprecedented and radical move 

Implications for the Albanese Government 

The Voice has arguably been the most contested political topic in recent years. The extreme politicisation and heavy media coverage have ensured that all eyes are on the Albanese government as they head towards the referendum. 

For Anthony Albanese, it becomes crucial that The Voice is enacted, especially with the large amount of political capital he has invested into this amendment. On the night of his election in 2022, he pledged to enshrine a Voice in Australia’s constitution. If the referendum is voted through, it may serve as the defining moment of his political career, establishing Albanese, and the Labor government, as champions of equality and change. Albanese’s vested interest in The Voice will consequently reflect as a failure on his part should the referendum fail to go through. Although Albanese has suggested alternative forms of First Nations recognition in the case of a ‘No’ vote, the likelihood of these passing successfully are slim.

Implications for the Dutton Opposition

On the other hand, Peter Dutton and the Liberal Party would be emboldened by a ‘No’ vote. Dutton’s announcement that he would oppose the Voice drew swift backlash, resulting in the resignation of a frontbencher and led to former Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt to quit the liberals. This was heightened by the general public favour towards enshrining a Voice to Parliament at the time of Dutton’s announcement. However, the latest polling indicates that support for The Voice has fallen considerably, now sitting at around 46%. If The Voice were to fail to pass, it would cement Peter Dutton’s Liberal Party leadership.

Advoc8 tracks what your key stakeholders are saying on important issues like The Voice across social media and Hansard. Reach out for a demo today.

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