It was an ugly mean little document that nowhere near represented the
wishes of the majority of Aboriginal Australians, George. Nor, obviously,
the rest of us. There's a fair bit of racism about, I don't deny that, but
no more than anywhere else I've lived - and I doubt it was at all a
decisive factor in this case. Let's not go off half-cocked, eh?
Rob (who proudly voted 'no' on the preamble).
>But Bob they also voted in a referendum on the same day against accepting
>inhabitants, the Aborigines. as the original owners of Australia. As far
>as I know this is
>the case --racism.
>Be free to check out our Communist Think-Tank web site at
>>From the reports here in Sweden it appears that the real question
>>appeared to be the
>question of who would elect a president. The people or the parliment and
>purposal declined the former many "republicans" elected to keep the old hag.
>Much talk about the deep mistrust of politicans and politics in general.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Bullimore / Kim Maree (COM) <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>Sent: Monday, November 08, 1999 2:40 AM
>Subject: M-TH: Republic (and preamble) defeated...
>> Although the final count is not in - due to postal votes etc, the republic
>> was defeated in the November 6 referendum. With 77.8% of the vote
>> 45.3% Yes for Republic 39.5% Yes to add preamble to constitution
>> 54.7% No for Republic 60.5% No to preamble.
>> To win the republic vote had to achieve a double majority. That is
>> to achieve constitutional change, the majority of Australian voters and a
>> majority of voters in a majority of the states (that is a majority must be
>> won in at least 4 states) must agree to the changes.
>> The preamble was resoundingly defeated by 60% of the vote. This was a
>> major slap in the face for the PM John Howard and Aden Ridgeway who
>> drafted the preamble. The preamble which was full of nationalistic
>> jingoism, which our PM seems to love so much.
>> It read (try not to throw up as you read it!!!):
>> With hope in God, the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted as a
>> democracy with a federal system of government to serve the common good.
>> We the Australian people commit ourselves to this constitution: Proud that
>> our national unity has been forged by Australians of many ancestries;
>> Never forgetting the sacrifices of all who defended our country and our
>> liberty in time of war; upholding freedom, tolerance, individual dignity
>> and the rule of law; Honouring Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, the
>> nation's first people, for their deep kinship with their lands and for
>> their ancient and continuing cultues which enrich the life of our countryl
>> Recognising the nation building contribution of generatins of immigrants;
>> mindful of our responsibliltly to protec our unique environmentl;
>> supportive of achievement as well as equality of opportunity for all; and
>> valuing independence as dearly as the national spirit which binds us
>> together in both adversity and success.
>> The preamble was drafted without consultation (other than with the
>> Democrats and Aden Ridgeway) to the people. Originally it included the
>> PM's favourite word "mateship" which offended a large number of people,
>> especially women - mateship is a very male term which has its origins in
>> the national identity myth of the bush battler and diggers at WW1.
>> Eventually this was dropped reluctantly.
>> The other main area of contention was with the wording in regard to
>> Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people. The favoured word by many
>> Aboriginal people and leaders was "custodianship", which gives a more
>> accurate reading of the relationship that Indigenous Australians have with
>> their traditional lands. Howard refused to use custodianship, because it
>> could also imply ownership (and there for would be at odds with his view
>> of the history of Australia - you know the Europeans really didn't steal
>> the land from the Aboriginals or murder them or steal their children).
>> The word "kinship" was suggested by the only Aboriginal in parliament Aden
>> Ridgeway who is a member of the Democrats and is conservative.
>> Ridgeway has lost a lot of standing with the grass roots membership of the
>> Aboriginal community because of this. He is seen by many as a "token"
>> black. The intersting thing is that Labor Aboriginal spokesperson, Daryl
>> Melham has accussed him of just this today - something they have backed
>> away from prior to this.
>> Kim B
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