To the Editor,
“Thank God for the Salvos,” they say. Thank goodness for Captain Stuart Glover for bringing the Voice focus back to a very human and moral imperative. Too often we allow our political persuasion, cleverness and entrenched selfishness to wash over our sense of right and wrong and the values of our heart. To that end Captain Glover’s letter is a clarion call to humility, compassion and sensibility in a Yes vote.
Blocking, negativity and fear seem to be flying freely at the moment. We must ask ourselves, in the bigger picture, what do our opinions and actions represent and, even more fundamentally, what are the things we believe in.
Geoff, Richard and Rob’s cases for voting no (Phoenix letters) give little redress to compassion and positive imagination for what could be gained by constitutional change in recognition and a Voice.
My belief is that the referendum is a simple ask.
Constitutional recognition and putting the people concerned, Indigenous Australians, closer to the decision-making which directly affects them, within a system that has demonstrably failed them to date, should not be generating this degree of fear and lack of courage in our society. Remember the constitution is designed to be able to be changed. As a “living document” it contains a mechanism for change.
In the Uluru Statement from the Heart we are asked so graciously to consider a big idea. It is not a “policy” but rather a concept we are asked to consider. Policy comes later in legislation. The idea that this advisory voice will somehow unhinge our democracy or even impact on the average Australian’s day to day life is a sad lament on our capacity to think in an expansive and generous manner.
The referendum is about respect of First Australians and thereby respect of ourselves collectively as Australians. Ultimately, I believe it is not about race at all.
My 93 year old mother is a calm, astute Christian who has lived a nobly quiet life in the bush. Recently I asked her how she would be voting. “Yes, of course” was her reply. I asked why and she replied without hesitation…. “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
We must all think deeply in these next weeks.
Regards Pete Lowe