What is the “Voice to Parliament?” VicNews has not formed an editorial opinion on the First Nation’s ‘Voice to Parliament’ but there’s seldom discussion about all the other, deeply ‘entrenched’ non-legislated, ‘Voices to Parliament.’
To explain The Voice we need to look at Federal Parliament post World War II.
Sir Robert Menzies formed the conservative Liberal Party from the ruins of the United Australia Party. There was a Labor split too. But we need to look at this in modern terms.
We’re not including minor parties or independents in this editorial.
The working class once had a ‘Voice to Parliament’ via their Union membership, which in turn funded the Labor Party and its members. This was a way for the average punter to have their voices heard in our Federal (and State) Parliament(s).
Following his 1996 election victory, newly-elected Prime Minister, John Winston Howard introduced ‘WorkChoices’ with the aim of reducing the ‘Voice’ of unions – the bodies that represent the working class. The workers. The people who actually keep the country running.
This reduced both Union membership, and therefore their financial base, and ensured fewer and fewer working-class people had ‘their voice’ heard in our Parliaments.
However, PM Howard introduced no legislation to reduce the voice of big business in Parliament. Gina Rinehart, IPA, Minerals Council, Business Council, to name just but a few.
There was no “BusinessChoices” legislation was there? Of course not. Don’t want to upset Ms Rinehart and stop the cash flow.
See the problem? Howard made sure the union’s ‘Voice to Parliament’ was diminished, left powerless. But the employers and the bodies that represent employers, such as the Minerals Council, didn’t have their ‘voice’ cut off did they? In fact, they got stronger.
Can you see what I see? Howard -and the Coalition – worked hard to cut out the working class, via unions, having their say in Parliament. But he never cut back on the ability of those employing the working class to have their say in Parliament, usually via generous donations to the Liberal Party.
Effectively, Howard and the Liberals, cut off one voice, whilst ensuring no such thing happened to the other side – big businesses and their lobby groups.
Whilst we haven’t formed an opinion on the First Nations ‘Voice’ we err on the side of ‘Yes’ simply because if the IPA, Rupert Murdoch and all others get to have a ‘voice’ -which they do via meetings with politicians, donations to politicians, their party and causes – why shouldn’t First Nations people?.
Those politicians calling for a “No” vote to the referendum must refuse to accept donations from and cut off all communications with all lobby groups, and business owners, such as Rupert Murdoch forthwith. The few remaining Unions (such as CMFEU) of the left and the IPA, Minerals Council, Rupert Murdoch and other lobby groups on the right.
How they can advocate for a ‘no’ vote, for “The Voice” whilst keeping their own Voice to Parliament via generous donations and other ‘perks’ is beyond me.
If some truly believed in the ‘No” vote and that First Nations people should not have a legislated Voice To Parliament then why should you keep your unlegislated ones?
Do workers now have “Voice to Parliament?” No.
Do First Nations have a “Voice To Parliament?” No.
Does big business have a “Voice To Parliament?” Yes.
At least the First Nations ‘Voice’ is to be legislated.
If there was a referendum on “Should big business and its lobby groups have a ‘Voice to Parliament,'” I’m confident that the referendum would lose.
Most of those calling for a “No” vote are from the right, including IPA members. Perhaps if the IPA, for example truly believed that they’d stop lobbying politicians and making political donations to keep their own ‘Voice To Parliament.’
“Our rich business mates who donate to the party machine, sure we’ll have a meeting, hear you and pass legislation to favour you (thanks for the $$).” What, a First Nations man or woman wants their voice heard in Parliament too? Oh no, we can’t have that.
If there’s No First Nations voice, then there shouldn’t be any unlegislated voices for any other individual, business or lobby group either.
Until all the politicians calling for a ‘No’ vote, drop any and all connections – inside and outside of Parliament – with any other individual, business or lobby group, they have no right to deny other parties a voice.
“Tell ’em to get stuffed.”
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