Friday, May 26, 2023

Mike Hosking: Australia just need to look at us for The Voice

If you believe the Liberal media, papers like the Sydney Morning Herald, they will tell you that Parliament there has “erupted” over claims by Peter Dutton, the Opposition leader, that The Voice will radicalise Australia.

What's interesting about The Voice is that, as it becomes more and more clear it's going to fail, those that back it are getting more and more alarmist.

What Dutton points out is, in fact, reasonably accurate and we know that because all they have to do is look here to see where the experiment ends.

Are we radicalised? That’s open to definition.

But, are we a happy, peaceful, collaborative country when it comes to race relations? No.

Further, I think we can fairly safely say that it's only gotten worse in the past handful of years.

Like Australia, what we set out to do all those years ago, which was sort past wrongs and give Maori a seat at the table, was, and is, laudable.

But it's not been easy. It's not resolved the issues and here we are a half century later and the debate has turned bitter, the resentment has grown and I'm not sure you would hold it up as a model for anyone.

This is not to take a side; it's to state the obvious.

The trouble, as Australia is finding, is the definition.

What's a voice? How much does it translate into the real world?

Of late here, co-governance has become inflammatory. Yes, Maori have a say, but it’s say-by-appointment, not the mechanism of democracy.

We decided we didn’t like democracy for Maori because they didn’t get a fair go. So, because of race, they got treated differently, they got their own seats in Parliament and they got their own seats on the council. Seats based on race did, and does, create tensions.

You might remember at council level you once could vote if a council changed seats for Maori to appointments. They took that rule away. Once again, that led to an inflammatory reaction.

I don’t even need to mention Three Waters when it comes to race-based angst.

So, Dutton is spot on.

Even if you are the most ardent, passionate advocate for indigenous voices and representation, to suggest, as ironically The Voice architect Noel Pearson does, that it leads to plurality and not apartheid, and brings indigenous people in from the margins, is fanciful nonsense.

The basic idea is solid. The execution, as we have seen and lived, is a rocky old road.

And we are far from finished.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings


Doug Longmire said...

Quoting from your article:-

"Seats based on race did, and does, create tensions."

It is actually something called "Apartheid", and it creates more than just "tension".
It creates violent civil unrest, the destruction of democracy, and usually ends up in a revolution.

Just look at Zimbabwe, South Africa.

Phil said...

Australia appears to be discussing these matters in the open. In NZ it is often behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

Tribalism vs Democracy. I suggest you need to take/declare a side mike, or have you already got your plan B in place?