Bad reasons to vote ‘No’ (a list for people leaning ‘No’)

Three flags of Australia

  1. I don’t want to be “woke”
    I get it. There are some other “trendy” causes that a lot of the “yes” crowd can reliably be expected to support. You might be a limited government conservative, a low tax supporter, or a social conservative – and “yes” voters might be expected to support things that you disagree with, like euthanasia or drug reform. And you might be put off by smug progressives. Yet you are not being asked to endorse an ideology of being “on the right side of history”, but a specific change to the constitution that sets up a committee that can make representations to government. You can read the simple amendment here. A mirror version of this mightb apply to “Yes” voters
  2. The ABC/ Nine papers are biased.
    Campaigning against the media worked for Donald Trump. However, resentment at some sections of the media is not a good basis for determining what you think. Would you think “Yes” supporters would be wise to decide to vote that way because they don’t like Sky News?
  1. It is about treaty or reparations.
    Senator Lidia Thorpe would clearly like us to be voting for a treaty. But at most, the Voice might – probably will – raise these questions, but we will get to vote on which party should govern Australia and decide what really happens. Perhaps Labor will have a treaty in their platform next time, and the Coalition will be opposed to a treaty at the next election. The Voice won’t decide these issues. Parliament will decide.
  1. Nothing will change; the gap will remain.
    Your pessimism may be well founded. Closing the gap is taking a long time. It is hard work. But the Voice offers a chance to discuss things locally, regionally and on the national level – and there’s a good chance that some ideas worth doing will be suggested. The Government will decide which, if any, of them to take up.
    We have a history of not consulting well with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – bringing them with any reform the Government makes will be important. The referendum will simply say there should be a Voice, and Parliament, which represents all of us, will have the responsibility to shape it and reform it. I suspect we won’t get it right the first time. 
  1. I don’t like (insert name here).
    We have become too used to personality politics. While it is fair to hold politicians to account, policy matters. So weighing up who is on each team, John Anderson on the No side, Tim Costello on the Yes side, and so on, is not the most thoughtful way to decide. Read the constitutional amendment, read the arguments put by people but don’t decide on name brands. This applies to both sides!


  1. I’ll continue:

    6. Corrupt Aboriginal Leaders

    There isn’t any worse level of corruption among Aboriginal leaders than, say, the major political parties. Aboriginal leaders aren’t perfect and yes they have sometimes acted corruptly, but the same is true about Labor and Liberal politicians. A quick google will show just how many aboriginal leaders have been found guilty of corrupt behaviour in recent years and that number is quite small.

    7. We already have a % of aboriginal people already in parliament.

    Seemingly a good argument, this falls apart too. There are dozens of government departments that address many issues, including one department focused on egg production. If egg producers can get some level of voice (and they should), then why not Aboriginal people?

    8. Spiritual concerns

    The Uluru Statement from the heart contains language that represents aboriginal spirituality. Yet despite this, the actual words of the amendment that we’re voting on does not have any spiritual language, Voting yes does not mean that Australia is going to be influenced by Aboriginal spirituality.

  2. 9. Change of government

    The amount of money granted to the Voice, and the people who make it up, are determined by parliament. So if a Labor government appoints a bunch of woke socialists, and then the Liberal/National coalition wins an election, they can remove the woke socialists and appoint their own people.

    This is something that the Liberal/National party COULD have done with ATSIC – they could have changed its leadership. But instead they shut it down entirely. The Voice is similar to ATSIC except it cannot be shut down due to the amendment to the constitution.

  3. 10. Lack of consultation?

    There might be ads going around of aboriginal people saying they’re voting NO and its because they weren’t consulted.

    The process has been in place since 2015. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten together set up a consultative group which turned into the Uluru Statement from the heart. There has been 8 years of consultation with aboriginal people going on.

  4. I received my Yes/No case Pamphlet in the mail yesterday and it is quite a detailed document. Interesting that the No case is using the same phrase “If you don’t know, VOTE NO!” . as was used on the top of pages 31, 33, 35 of the 1999 Constitutional Preamble referendum Yes/No case pamphlet but with better grammar.

    I am still considering and praying for wisdom for how to vote on this referendum. Point 5 of this article has been especially helpful about how to not to get offended by the personalities on both sides of the debate, but to consider the change and it’s many benefits and possible consequences as a whole. Appreciate this blog as a trusted resource to inform my decision. Keep up the good work

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