Andrew Bolt Herald Sun February 22, 2023
You’ve been deliberately misled about Labor’s planned Voice, and this week that con was finally and undeniably exposed. No, not by me or other critics of this racist plan for a kind of Aboriginal-only Parliament. True, we’ve warned for months that this Voice will stop our elected Parliament from acting, but we’re dismissed as carping conservatives, even racists.
But this week, our warnings were finally confirmed between people actually designing the Voice for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, including co-architect Marcia Langton. This is dynamite.
From the start, I said there was a trick to this Voice. Why did Labor want to put it in our constitution after a referendum this year?
But also from the start, your prime minister told you not to worry. The Voice would be harmless.
“It would simply be an advisory group that will not be above parliament,” Albanese kept insisting. “The advice doesn’t have to be taken.”
But I was puzzled. Don’t we already have hundreds of Aboriginal groups already advising governments? There’s the Council of Peaks, representing some 70 big community-controlled Aboriginal organisations, plus more than 30 land councils, 2700 Aboriginal corporations and 11 federal MPs in our federal parliament.
So what’s the catch? Why now put this new Voice, and up to 35 local Voices as well, into our constitution?
The answer seemed obvious – to give this Voice legal power over our elected government.
You see, to have the constitution say the Voice should advise our government implies that the government in return has a legal duty to listen before it acts. In fact, activist judges will almost certainly insist on that.
That means this Voice could stop governments doing anything affecting Aborigines, from tax policy to changing what’s taught in schools, until it took its sweet time to say what it thought.
Here’s an example. A cyclone hits the Northern Territory. The government wants to rush in aid. But the Voice says no, not before you consult us. This affects Aborigines, too.
The High Court judge then says, yes, the government can’t do anything until the Voice has spoken and government has shown it has listened.
Result: the aid is stalled. This race-based parliament will have an effective veto on your elected government.
How could we be even thinking of doing something so racist, impractical and undemocratic?
But last year, one of the eight constitutional law experts advising the referendum working group designing Albanese’s Voice said lawyers making this argument were just “Chicken Littles”.
“This legal fright-fest is bizarre,” scoffed Professor Greg Craven.
But Craven now seems to have had a shock. His eyes have been opened by what he calls the “all or nothing” fanatics he’s dealing with on Albanese’s referendum group, and he’s done a backflip.
Yes, he this week admitted in The Australian, there was indeed a problem with Albanese’s plan to have the Voice “make representations to the executive government”.
“What if government decides to act even before a representation could be made? Could someone go to court to stop any action until a representation had been considered?”
And, yes, in my example of sending aid to the Northern Territory, Craven now admits: “Government is paralysed.” We were right: the Voice could stop it acting.
What’s more, Craven suggested people in the “inner circle” of the Voice actually wanted it to have this power.
In fact, it took only a few hours for Marcia Langton to confirm that.
Langton is crucial. She’s a key architect of the Voice – one of the two authors of the Indigenous Voice co-design report which the Albanese Government points to as its model.
On Monday, on ABC radio, she attacked Craven but confirmed exactly what’d he’d warned.
Host Ali Moore put Craven’s objection to her: “If a government decision is made without listening to the Voice it could be challenged in the High Court and potentially stopped from being implemented until the Voice had been heard.”
Langton’s response was clear: “That’s a possibility and why wouldn’t we want that to be the case?”
Otherwise, the Voice would be “completely gutted” and a “toothless tiger”, because “then the government can ignore all the Voice’s decisions with impunity”.
So two key people designing the Voice for Labor finally admit what the prime minister still won’t.
This race-based Voice – representing just 3.2 per cent of the population – will almost certainly have the power to block the government representing 100 per cent of us.
How can this attack on our democracy be tolerated for an instant?
1/ The con of Labor’s planned Voice has been exposed. Picture: Jeremy Piper