Voters Are Split on Whether a Voice to Parliament Will Work — Here Are the Facts

According to a poll by The Sydney Morning Herald, there’s a whack of confusion about what an Indigenous Voice to Parliament could actually get done. In a survey of 2011 people, 27% of them said that a Voice could achieve both symbolic recognition and practical outcomes, while 15% believe that this group will basically be symbolic in nature.

A further 17% believe that a Voice won’t achieve any symbolic or practical outcomes, and another 15% think that while it may be useful, it’s not the recognition that First Nations peoples deserve. This leaves us with 26% of the poll’s respondents saying that they are undecided or don’t have enough info yet. 

Now, it’s critical that all of us understand what an Indigenous Voice to Parliament actually is and what it will actually achieve. However, we’re not going to leave you in the lurch. Back in August, The Latch interviewed Professor Megan Davis, Cobble Cobble woman and Co-Chair of Uluṟu Dialogue, about what a Voice could do. So here’s what she said on this matter:

An Indigenous Voice to Parliament Would Be Practical

Davis has repeatedly emphasised that an Indigenous Voice to Parliament would be more than a symbol. She explained it would consult on “the laws and policies which affect First Peoples.” 

Near the end of the interview, she further accentuated her point, stating, “The Voice will improve the lives of First Peoples, finally giving us a say in the laws and policies that affect us.”

Moreover, Davis explained, “We want to reinforce that the Voice will not be a third chamber of Parliament… The Voice will advise our government of the day on matters concerning the lives of First Nations Peoples. It will not have any hidden powers or veto abilities.”

It’s worth noting that Davis is one of the individuals that’s working on making an Indigenous Voice to Parliament happen. She’s worked closely with the Federal Government to make sure it won’t just be empty promises or platitudes. If Davis says that this measure is more than symbolic in nature, then we should heed her wisdom. 

Related: 10 Films Made by First Nations Directors

Related: “History Is Calling, Let’s Get This Done” — It’s Time for a First Nations Voice in Parliament

Some Actually Good News

Despite the fact that there’s some confusion around what an Indigenous Voice to Parliament will really achieve, a lot of folks are still supporting it. As per The Sydney Morning Herald‘s poll, 64% of respondents stated that they are in favour of such a measure becoming a reality. 

“History is calling,” asserted Davis. “The people of Australia are ready to answer. Let’s get this done.” 

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