By Allan Richardson
I haven’t heard much comprehensive analysis on how Dutton will fare if the No vote gets up in the upcoming Recognition and The Voice referendum.
Much superficial political commentary seems to suggest that a victory will set Dutton up as the strong opposition leader for the next federal election, because Albanese recklessly (some might say) pinned his and his government’s achievement on a successful referendum. Eggs/basket.
Just imagine the chat in the increasingly likely event that the Yes vote will fail.
The backslapping and merriment in which the LNP will indulge with much fanfare and ceremony will be short-lived.
Forget the rusted-on advocates for either position; the referendum was never about them. Like forever, the goal for each side was to capture the ‘undecideds’. And if the referendum fails, the LOTO will be seen as the strong leader. Until the dust clears …
And after the hullabaloo, when nothing has changed to close the gap, the First Nations People will still be just as disadvantaged as before in every way; ways that have been decried by all parties, with whatever level of sincerity one normally attributes to politicians. And many of the undecided-but-No voters will start to wonder about the wisdom of their actions. Too late.
The advocates for the Yes vote are not going to shut up, and all the Labor, Greens and Teals will pile onto Dutton as the self-appointed ‘Nokesman’ for the ‘debate’. Any half-decent election campaign will have him seen as the bigoted racist that he is. And given the broad remit of the NACC, there’s every reason that he and his co-liars should be referred to the Commission, for clearly identified misinformation relating to something as critical as modifying our founding document! But this won’t benefit Labor. Albanese would be (correctly) identified as a Prime Minister unable to prosecute his signature policy. The disenchanted would migrate to the Greens and the Teals.
And my guess is that he’ll be blamed for any political unrest that a failed Recognition and Voice referendum will engender. And there’ll be plenty of that! He’s a goner, but his vitriol and spitefulness will never be forgotten. Being publicly dismissive of respectful requests by a 65,000-year civilisation is glaring, unmitigated arrogance.
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