Imagine if the No vote was directed at you

Voice no vote

I reflect on how I would have felt, waking up the day after the marriage equality plebiscite to an Australia that had voted no. 

As a gay man, I would have been devastated. I would have felt insecure in my own country and the way I looked at my fellow Australians would have changed.

I remain optimistic that Australians will make a positive choice at Saturday’s referendum. But the pathway to victory for the Voice is clearly narrow.

Sadly, nothing will change for the better the day after a No vote. The tragic health, social and economic experiences of many First Nations Australians will continue.  Peter Dutton proposes another referendum to put a symbolic recognition of Indigenous Australians into the constitution. But, if the argument against the Voice is that it won’t make a difference, I am not sure how Mr Dutton’s gesture would be an improvement.

I’m voting Yes because when Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten asked First Nations people what would make a difference, 243 of the 250 First Nations leaders representing communities across Australia at the Uluru Convention, asked for greater responsibility through a permanent Voice in discussions about their future.

Because a No vote would be a continuation of the we-know-best approach that has got us to where we are today.

And because I know how I’d feel if the No vote was directed at me.

This article also appeared in The West Australian Newspaper.


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