“YES” gathers strength

On Saturday, 27 May, 1967, Australians voted by an overwhelming majority to alter the Constitution to give Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders the right to be counted in all future censuses by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The vote was a huge victory for the “YES” camp: it won 90.77% of votes cast in all six States.

The 1967 vote was conducted amid an atmosphere of furious bipartisanship. All the main parties in Federal Parliament supported the proposal, so did the mainstream media and the enlightened (white) settler community. Prior to the 1967 referendum, Aborigines were counted in censuses as “half-castes” and “full-bloods” according to the insistence of the 1901 Attorney-General and future Prime Minister Alfred Deakin.

Now, in the 21st century, Australia’s First Nation people are asking for a voice to Federal Parliament so that their views can be recorded in an atmosphere free from name-calling and intolerance.

This time around, in October 2023, the nay-sayers are shouting their heads off and receiving massive press coverage. Warren Mundine, Senator Jacinta Price, National John Anderson are the leading spokespeople for those who want to deny history, and undermine the good hearts of Australian people.

However, the message from First Nation Peoples has been undeniable. They are saying – “In the 1967 Referendum we were given a vote, but in the referendum of October 2023 in the 21st century we need a voice to Federal Parliament to hear what concerns us in a tolerant and respectful way.” You know it makes sense, and that is why we should all vote “YES” on Saturday, October 14.  


  1. Its good to see that as people get more informed , they change to the Yes vote. On the left and far left there has been a lot of grumbling about the VTT process but with no alternatives proposed by the progressive Nos , there now seems to be some acceptance that at least a Yes win will be a start on a process to a Treaty and the Truth . And a lot of people are shaking themselves and saying I dont want to be on the same side as Hanson , Price, Mundine and Johns. The Yes win wont solve all problems. But it is a process that can lead to a lot of problems being dealt with more effectively , including Closing the Gaps.

  2. Hi Alex and Judith,

    Let’s hope for a laet swing to Yes. It was interesting to listen the Senator Lidia Thorpe the other day on Radio National Breakfast. Thorpe was saying that if Labor agreed to implement the recommendations of Deaths in Custody Royal Commission from over thirty years ago that she’d most likely support “Yes”. While I agree with her claim, it’s possible the penny is starting to drop that in fact there isn’t much support for the Blak Sovereignty movement, and that by taking that small slice of voters away from Yes Thorpe and others are in reality empowering the right of Australian politics.

    It’s easy to agree with Thorpe and other “left” critics of the Voice that it doesn’t do much, but it’s clear that Yes did come from a Aboriginal and Torress Strait Islander process, and that at its worst it won’t make things worse.

    I also suspect that Thorpe and other really don’t appreciate how conservative Albanese Labor are, and that if Yes goes down Albanese for one won’t go near it again.

    Sadly the fact that Thorpe’s offer has recieved no response I’m aware of demonsrates both the power of the right wing No shockers, but of course how little weight Thorpe really has. Bourgeois politics has is limits, but if you’re going to play them as Thorpe says she is, it’s best to be smart, and not simply burn out on the margins as she’s doing.

    1. Alex writes: “Thanks for your erudite remarks about ‘No’ campaigner, Senator Lidia Thorpe. You have added much background material with which I was not previously familiar. I heard some of her remarks in an interview (at the National Press Club?) where she twisted and turned and lied most alarmingly. She was brazen, self-important and arrogant and even made Mundine, the former ALP president, seem reasonable. In fact, Mundine became MORE aggressive after she had spoken. They make a great pair … of what I’m not sure.
      “Cheers and many thanks, Alex”

  3. Now in Canada – I’m doing my best to find the similarities and differences between First Australians and First Canadians – and finding many more similarities in their legal situation than differences. Thanks, Alex, Judith – and to the follow-up commentators.

  4. In addition to the numerous humanitarian based reasons for voting ‘Yes’ is the realisation that opponents such as Mundine and Price are unworthy of much attention. Mundine is the classic ‘man for all seasons’, never sure what he stands for apart from opportunism to big note himself; and Senator Price’s anger, nothing to do with the Voice, seems prompted by the fact that the world does not revolve around her. In the meantime, mainstream media gives these nonentities too much oxygen.
    Thanks Alex & Judith for your support for the Voice, and by implication an exposé of the negatives of the opposition.

  5. YES is the way to vote!! Why is manifold; the latest conclusion I make is Parliament is already inundated with Voice from NFF, AusIMM, fossil fuel industry, gambling industry ,religions, tobacco industry, alcohol industry, AMA, pension industry, aged care industry, …….and on it goes. Thousands of lobbyists exerting pressure through the halls of power.
    We accept this as a way to be heard in Canberra, not relying on our elected representatives to put a view.
    The indigenous people are only asking for a fair ‘suck of the sav’.
    To deny them, what is common place for the rest of society, is at least arrogance and maybe racism

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