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Constitutional recognition: Like a weeping wound is back to annoy

Constitutional recognition: as a weeping wound returns to  annoy

Recognition of an unhealthy constitution

Just what Australia wants to occupy their minds. All is well with the government. Debt is fantasy. Theft of taxpayers’ money has been stopped and the latest Turnbull gift of $5 billion to indigenous pursuits while robbing aged pensions of $2.4 billion will thrill many. Now the Turnbull waffler and slogan master has a rival in Noel Pearson with his sugar coated “noble compromise” that will hit the “sweet spot”. Come back in 20 years please Mr Pearson?

Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has predicted a “noble compromise” will be reached on Indigenous recognition in the constitution, with a referendum question hitting a “sweet spot” between ambition and realism, and between conservatism and liberalism.

Source: Fairfax

Indigenous recognition referendum question will hit the ‘sweet spot’: Noel Pearson

Closing the gap: pragmatism and symbolism

Practical measures and rhetorical flourishes are both on display as Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten address the annual ‘Closing the Gap’ report into indigenous disadvantage.

The Cape York leader believes a clear position will emerge from next week’s Indigenous constitutional convention at Uluru and has challenged the nation’s political leaders to have the courage to deal with it and “put a winnable proposition to the Australian people”.

Mr Pearson has also applauded a proposal from Warren Mundine to recognise local and regional Aboriginal bodies in the constitution as a “crucial contribution” ahead of the four-day convention.

“Warren is thinking practically about how to win a referendum on substantive constitutional recognition. His contribution is important, and takes the discussion to the next level,” Mr Pearson will say at an event to launch the idea on Friday.

Mr Mundine, the former head of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, has proposed a variation on the more contentious idea of enshrining a national Indigenous body in the constitution as a voice to Parliament.

Conservatives are more likely to embrace the Mundine variation because it would not involve setting up a new apparatus and it aims to empower existing bodies. Whether it will meet the expectations of convention delegates is unclear.

It has support from Liberal MP Tim Wilson, who described it as “a much closer representation of what mainstream Australian would support and accept”.

Warren Mundine has proposed a recognition of local and regional Aboriginal bodies in the constitution.

In an essay outlining his proposal, Mr Mundine writes: “Each of our mobs needs to get governance in place. It’s got to be transparent, and it has to be very clearly directed.

“Then the government should start negotiating with the mob to reach an agreement which could be the basis for the Parliament establishing a local body for each mob according to the agreement it has reached with the government.

“The constitution should require the Parliament to do this. That would provide true recognition for each of our mobs.”

Mr Pearson said the Mundine proposal resonated with his long-held belief that self-determination, correctly understood, is about our peoples’ right to take responsibility. “That is what constitutional recognition should structurally encourage and enable,” he said.

He told Fairfax Media he had attended at least seven of 12 Indigenous dialogues leading up the the convention and is “staggering pleased” with what has emerged, and with the leadership shown at the dialogues by Pat Anderson and Megan Davis.

“We’ve had very significant Indigenous female leadership over the decades, but I think this is the one time where I think two women have really carried the leadership on this process,” he said.

“I see next week as 12 pieces of the jigsaw from all parts of the country coming together into a united position, a single whole. The outcome I’m hoping for is a very clear statement of what Indigenous Australia wants in a reform agenda.

“The process following Uluru has got to involve Indigenous representatives sitting down and negotiating with the parliamentary parties about what specific referendum question is to be put in a bill and put to the Australian people.”

Pressed on the Mundine proposal, Mr Pearson said there had been overwhelming support for a representative body or voice to the Parliament at the dialogues and he expected there to be varied views on what form it should take.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have “respectfully declined” an invitation to attend next week’s historic convention, wary that their presence could reduce the prospects of a successful outcome.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Don 19/05/2017, 7:49 am

    Here comes another thousand public serpents – make that ten thousand – and tell me how every mob can be represented at the table in the decision making – and don’t have the meeting any day near Centre Link Day

  • Peter Sandery 19/05/2017, 8:31 am

    The bodies and organisations which the delegates to the Uluru Conference are attending should have to show their bona fides, that is, that they have complied with all the legal requirements of the legislation under which they purport to act – financial, governance, agency, etc – before they are allowed to speak for their respective groups. In all this debate I think that the Constitution as a document about the relationship of various parts of the country’s government, as opposed to individual groups of people, is being ignored. If the Federal government is going to take notice of groups which are refusing to abide by the rules of their incorporation for example, what precedent does that leave for other groups with less than friendly ties with Australia insisting on the same treatment and then going to international bodies of arbitration to achieve their nefarious aims. This recognition Movement is, in fact then, far from being “just about equal rights”, it is about the fundamentals of federation as envisaged by our forefathers in the written, not implied, Constitution. To be FAIR to everyone and all level of governments, then, this issue should not be a stand alone one but should be part of a far broader enquiry into the state of the Australian Federation today. As I said, anything less would be patently unfair to all Australian citizens, present and future.

    • Spinbuster 19/05/2017, 9:16 am

      Actually I can’t imagine a time when I would want anyone at the constitution levers if they are anything like the mob we have now. ..and I do want some constitutional reform.
      I just don’t trust the bastards.
      eg I want a republic.. but there is just no way I would trust the current crop to frame the legislation.
      I would vote for the status quo if a referendum came up tomorrow. Better the devil than the morally corrupt devil.

      (Ha Ha, think I have just booted up the religious guys …you didn’t know the devil had morals , did you guys?

      • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 10:45 am
      • Spinbuster 19/05/2017, 1:04 pm

        Ha Ha , Touchez Blogsy, Ya got me there. Almost found myself singing along.
        A bunch of nice wholesome young kids. Not my brand of belief, but I don’t see them developing any muslim hangups.

      • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 7:05 pm

        Bugger it, Buster, I’ve been singing it all day.

        Memories of the old Minder ep, where I think Arfur got rolled in a different city and Ray and Dave finally found him in a Salvo joint singing it with a bunch of derros.

    • nev 19/05/2017, 10:17 am

      Good article Pete, Australian politicians are notorious at setting up bodies bound by charters full of meaningless grandiose tripe knowing full well they will never be adhered too. I could think of dozens but two immediately spring to mind, the now infamous HRC and the treasonous ABC both give their finger to their employer with impunity.
      Oh sure we’ll have a united country all right, with one people and two sets of governance to ensure the tax payer gravy train continues and Don is correct never forget the other gravy train known as the public serpent.
      There must be an Iron clad clause that allows a citizens right to force compliance and punish noncompliance.
      If that was the case neither of the above would exist.

      • nev 19/05/2017, 10:30 am

        See, MM has it covered on Citizens rights in article below “Straws in the wind”.
        It can be done.

  • Lorraine 19/05/2017, 8:51 am

    No any way you wish to put the question to the Australian people, my vote is still No. when all the abo’s are working and paying taxes they get a say, until then shut up

    • Gregoryno6 19/05/2017, 9:05 am

      Exactly. They can word the question any way they want, but it’s still got the same intention.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 19/05/2017, 9:30 am

    The indigenous people already have a treaty, pact, understanding, equal rights, and whatever anyone cares to name and it is called the constitution under which we are all protected, and there is no way known this old bloke will ever vote to elevate their status to one above any other Australian. They cry about equality, the cry about every f…ing mortal thing whilst swallowing huge amounts of taxpayers money, all to no avail because with the exception of very few they won’t do anything to better themselves.

  • Greg 19/05/2017, 10:29 am

    I am always intrigued by the expression “closing the gap”. All this is going to do is widen the gap. Let’s make the Aboriginal people “special” and then watch them deteriorate even further. Clearly, our indigenous people do not want to be part of the nation – except, of course, Centrelink. The system of allowing this nonsense is working against the long-term interests of everyone.

    • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 10:56 am

      Yep. A few of their “elites” will laugh all the way to the bottle shop and the rest will descend even further.

  • Graham 19/05/2017, 11:36 am

    Let me think about this for a nanosecond……..ok I’m still voting NO!

  • Rubyred 19/05/2017, 3:34 pm

    I am voting no as well. I do not think this will unite the country and with the left wing egging on the Aboriginals there will be no end to their demands They are a minority and have been given too much already and many of then are not even worthy of special recognition in the Constitution.

  • LadyMoonlight 20/05/2017, 8:42 am

    I am voting NO, but, I guarantee you it will all come to pass.

    • Joe Blogs 20/05/2017, 10:49 am

      Same as the poofs, LM. Where there’s a willy, there’s a way.

  • Bushkid 20/05/2017, 6:37 pm

    Aren’t we all supposed to be Australians, all equal already? There is no need to add a preamble, or change anything in the Constitution to “recognise” aboriginals. They are Australian, I am Australian, anyone who was born here or who has taken their citizenship (and really meant it – not the traitors who’ve gone overseas to take up arms with ISIS, they’ve spat on their Australian citizenship and on us) is Australian already. We are all supposed to be equal already. This will only be an excuse for yet more public “servants” to be overpaid for doing nothing practical or useful. More debt, more interest paid, banana republic republic here we come.

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