Lessons from the Voice to Parliament Referendum: Embracing Our Power in Political Futures

Lessons from the Voice to Parliament Referendum: Embracing Our Power in Political Futures
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The following is a transcript of Topher’s editorial from Episode 49 of The Aussie Wire News discussing the Voice to Parliament Referendum, which aired on the 17th of October 2023.

There are many different lessons to be learned from the resounding no result in the Voice to Parliament referendum and in due course I will cover many different aspects of those lessons. Most notably, what we can do that will actually improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians in remote communities.

But before we go there in the coming weeks and months, I’d like to point out that this no result is proof that we do actually have agency in our political future… Despite what some people might want you to believe. 

Before the referendum we saw people in the no camp, people who believe in equality, believe in freedom, in personal choice and personal responsibility, throwing their hands up in the air and making statements like, “the fix is in, it’ll just be rigged anyway, the UN won’t allow them to lose”, all nonsense of course.

Some people even go so far as to mock people like me, those of us who believe that we have a responsibility to be engaged, politically, culturally, and certainly in the information wars. They like to call me controlled opposition or part of the problem because I’m willing to actually engage with the powers that be, corrupt as they are, and work with the system we have, broken as it is, to get less bad outcomes than would otherwise be the case.

Some people seem to almost want to be powerless, to have no actual ability to influence anything at all. They seem almost offended at the fact that I believe, and I do believe the voice of the result shows that we absolutely do have considerable influence in our lives.

The fix is not rigged, it is up to us. We have influence in our lives and the lives of those around us and we have not just the opportunity, but the responsibility to do all that we can to make the world a better place. No we can’t fix everything, yes there are absolutely things that are beyond our control but that makes it all the more important for each of us to do what we can. To not just throw our hands up in the air and despair and do nothing. 

The voice isn’t the first time we’ve had a big win against all odds. It’s not the first time that we’ve had all the elites, the corporates, the media, the celebrities, and all the money, all on the wrong side and just us common people on the right side and won. The Republic referendum, whatever your stance on Australia becoming a Republic, was an example of all the money and power being on one side, the common people on the other, and the common people won. 

It happened again with the emissions trading scheme during the Rod Gillard, Rod backstabbing era. It happened again with the New Media Council, basically the ministry of truth, the predecessor to the current ACMA misinformation disinformation bill. We won those fights against all odds. We won the voice fight too, not that it feels like much of a win, all that money and goodwill wasted on something that was a terrible idea to begin with. But guess what, we can keep winning more fights as we go forward. 

This terrible ACMA misinformation disinformation bill, we can stop it just like we stopped the news media council. The global pandemic treaty, we can get Australia to say no to that just like we got Australia to say no to the voice. Net Zero, we can lead Australia to abandon it, just like we led this country to abandon the emissions trading scheme. 

Don’t listen to the voices of doom, to people who insist that they control everything and we can do nothing. Yes, getting involved costs time, energy, focus, sometimes money and you risk failure even if you give it your best shot. But not getting involved can cost you everything and giving up without a fight, well to me that seems unthinkable. 

So next time you have an opportunity to support people who are fighting for what’s right, would you consider actually doing it? Getting involved on the ground because those volunteers who stood on polling booths, stuffed letter boxes, did the groundwork for the no campaign, they’re not just relieved about the result, they’re proud because they were a part of it. Instead of giving up, they got busy and we need more of those people because we have more fights ahead. 

Mark my words, they are fights that we can win and we must.

You can watch this episode of The Aussie Wire News here.

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