Australia News & Commentary

The Politics of Sentimentality: The Voice to Parliament

"One hopes that the government, and the Australian public, will listen to Senator Price. She is the antidote to the neo-Marxist ideology and anti-white rhetoric that dominates so much of the discourse regarding Indigenous Australians and portrays them as a homogenous collective of perpetual victims in need of constant handouts."

In modern politics, ideas are rarely judged by their efficacy but by whether they tickle the ears of listeners and allow those who promulgate them to feel good about themselves.

Governments push ideas they know to be ineffective, such as increasing the minimum the wage, to make voters think they are helping citizens when they are really disempowering them while congratulating themselves for doing something that appears virtuous. Amending the constitution to create a “voice to parliament” is the latest example of this.

In practical terms, the so-called voice to parliament does not require constitutional reform, as it appears to be nothing more than a race-based bureaucratic advisory body. One would think that enshrining this body in the constitution, as though it were of monumental significance, runs the risk of undermining the endeavour as voters might reject it in a referendum. However, those promoting the “voice” are not really aiming to achieve anything but merely hoping that their apparently good intentions will score them political points.

The best possible outcome of the “voice” is that policies that help Indigenous people overcome poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, violence, and early death will be pursued, which hardly requires a new bureaucratic body. All the government needs to do to figure out approaches to these issues is listen to Senator Jacinta Price’s recent maiden speech.

As Senator Price observed, Labor touts the importance of the “voice” and other pointless virtue signals while pursuing policies that disempower Indigenous people, like scrapping the cashless debit card that has reduced rates of alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, and violence in the Indigenous population, and increasing the minimum wage, which also increases unemployment (leading to welfare dependency). There is much to be learned from Senator Price’s lived experience, but Labor and the mainstream media only appear interested in the “lived experience” of Indigenous women when it supports the neo-Marxist, big government agenda.

The “voice” is predicated on the tenets of Critical Race Theory, or race-based Marxism, which posits that genuine individuals don’t really exist, but that people are only mouthpieces for their racial interest groups which are always competing for power. It will supposedly speak for all Indigenous people because they’re all considered identical, meaning they are manageable with simplistic, symbolic gestures that achieve nothing of any practical value for Indigenous families. No doubt, if this “voice” is created we’ll see more “welcome to country” ceremonies and tributes paid to elders past, present, and emerging while Indigenous violence, incarceration, and death continue to soar in remote communities.

Our left-wing government is not interested in helping Indigenous people, they are interested in getting re-elected, and the way the left does this is by making people dependent on them, generally via welfare. Labor must keep their pursuit of social justice superficial because if they facilitated the conditions of gainful employment, thereby weakening welfare dependency, then their welfare policies wouldn’t be as needed.

It isn’t just that the left’s sentimental pandering to Indigenous people doesn’t help them, it harms them. As Senator Price stated in her maiden speech, most Indigenous murder victims are murdered by other Indigenous people, yet lawmakers and judges fear giving strong sentences for these crimes and adding to Indigenous incarceration rates lest they be accused of racism. She explained, “Leading factors [contributing to incarceration] include poor parenting, child abuse and neglect, poor school attendance, and unemployment. These factors are cause for any person, regardless of race, to be more likely to commit an offence leading to incarceration.” Simply put, the problems faced by Indigenous people are problems that any race with these factors at work would face. The solution is not more “recognition” or “acknowledgement” but addressing these practical, and tragic, realities.  

These problems could be addressed, but that would empower Indigenous people as individuals, meaning the neo-Marxist game Labor is playing would fall apart. As Senator Price explained: “free enterprise coupled with sound fiscal management in a progressive commercial environment forms the basis for economic independence. In other words, business and jobs are the key to economic health for a community, not the shackles of welfare dependency.” These shackles are Labor’s bread and butter, so they must avoid facilitating economic independence and focus on the vague notion of a “voice,” relying not on evidence but on whimsical musings like the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Uluru Statement is void of practical solutions or even any specific description of the problem. For example, it reads, “We [Indigenous Australians] are not an innately criminal people. Our children are alienated from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them.” In this statement, Indigenous people are homogenous – all thinking and believing the same things. The Statement raises many questions: Who is claiming that Indigenous people are inherently criminal? Which policies or laws treat them as such? Why are children “alienated” from their families? Is this the result of racism, or abuse and neglect? Is there no room for the suggestion that some Indigenous people are bad parents while others are great parents? What will “substantive constitutional change and structural reform,” as the Statement advocates for, change? Everything about the Uluru Statement from the Heart is ambiguous which, I suppose, is why it’s from the heart and not from the brain.

One hopes that the government, and the Australian public, will listen to Senator Price. She is the antidote to the neo-Marxist ideology and anti-white rhetoric that dominates so much of the discourse regarding Indigenous Australians and portrays them as a homogenous collective of perpetual victims in need of constant handouts. This is, in her words, “the racism of low expectations.”

If the government would turn its attention to fixing problems, rather than glossing over them with sentimental Marxist rhetoric, the lives of Indigenous Australians might be improved, but the federal government appears to be committed to the politics of sentimentality rather than fixing problems.