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The Forum > General Discussion > Tears in the Fabric of 'Recognition' ?

Tears in the Fabric of 'Recognition' ?

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With only fourteen months to a possible 'Recognition' referendum, on top of a plebiscite on homosexual marriage, it's possible that, in that time, the expressly aspirations of many Indigenous people and of other Australians will massively diverge.

Non-Indigenous Australians may be willing to support reference to Indigenous people in the Preamble to the Constitution, perhaps even to get rid of Section 18c, but may baulk at Noel Pearson's suggestion of a de facto third House of Parliament, of Elders elected or chosen by Indigenous people with no input by the vast majority of Australians.

On the other hand, many Indigenous people may consider that even Noel Pearson's suggestion of an extra parliamentary house of review is too little many won't be satisfied with anything less than the recognition of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Indigenous 'nations' across the country, the signing of a Treaty between Indigenous people (or their representatives) and other Australians, and/or the recognition of Indigenous Sovereignty over all of Australia effectively, a recognition that Indigenous people should be paid rent by non-Indigenous people for the use of their land, into the future.

Perhaps sixteen million Australian would be able to vote in the 'Recognition ' Referendum, almost half of whom were either born overseas or have a parent born overseas. That huge population is not going to feel particularly guilty about what is supposed to have happened long before they or their ancestors arrived here. And they will be the least likely to wear the term 'racist' if they don't support whatever is decided on as the Referendum question (or questions). Ironically, it may well be guilt-ridden Anglo-Australians who come out and vote for more extreme demands.

So there may be a large space across which proponents of minimalist and maximalist positions will need to carefully and respectfully negotiate with each other, if the referendum is to even get off the ground.

So given the complexity of the debates desperately needed between now and May 27th next year, where do people stand ? What are Australians, such as yourself, dear reader, prepared to support ?
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 10:57:28 AM
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Dear Joe,

I am prepared to support it all:

A third house of review, a fourth house of review, a fifth house of review - whatever paralyses the parliament and government, I welcome.

I also would welcome the breaking of Australia into hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Indigenous 'nations`, because this will allow more individual freedoms: if one finds the laws of one such `nation' too oppressive, then they could migrate to another, thus those indigenous 'nations` will need to compete among them in order to attract good and productive people.

As you rightly observed, being born overseas, I do not feel guilty for what happened long before my times, as Anglo-Australians may. Yet by the same token, I have no reason to preference the Anglo invaders over the original people of this land.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 1:43:24 PM
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with African, bikie, middle eastern and Islander gangs running amuck in this nation I would prefer no further division. Are we going to recognise the British as the second people and the Italians (or whoever third) people. This is all nonsense.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 2:15:30 PM
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I don't think the recognition "debate" matters much to anybody at all, indigenous people included, and is only an issue for a handful of elitists. It doesn't have the same moral or social significance as the 1967 referendum and is a distraction at best.

People are more concerned with the detail of their everyday lives and the outcome of such a referendum will not affect them in any way whatsoever - now or in the future.

Likewise the marriage equality plebiscite is really a stalling tactic at best and could have already been resolved.

There is enough division in society already without creating new ones.
Posted by rache, Wednesday, 16 March 2016 7:54:43 AM
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Thanks for those comments.

Wow, 3:0. So 'Recognition' is seen by some as divisive ? Isn't it supposed to bring people together ?

So you wouldn't vote for Indigenous Sovereignty at a Referendum then ?

Then how about a Treaty between a federal government representing all Australians, and a political entity, yet to be defined, representing some Australians ?

Or recognition of 'nations' ?

Yuyutsu, since 'nations; are basically family-based, as the primary landholding group, then one cannot ever 'migrate' from one to another: one is born into an extended family or clan, as the landholding group, usually the paternal ancestor's, and while it is possible to move to one's mother's country, or to one's father's mother's country, you can't just go and live in somebody else's country.

Of course, perhaps Warren Mundine's concept of 'nation' is not confined to an extended family or clan, as the landholding group, but to a collection of clans - perhaps a dialect group, or even an entire 'tribe'. Traditionally, there were eight dialect groups, and about 120 clans, within the Ngarrindjeri 'tribe' on the lower Murray, for example.

Since there were around five hundred 'tribes' in pre-European times, each jealously guarding its territory and jurisdiction, agreements would have to be made by any state or national government with each of the 'tribes' within its boundaries, and probably between many of the 'tribes' as well.

But first, Indigenous people themselves would have to track back and identify which particular 'nation' or clan or 'tribe' they claimed some identity with. That might be a dog's breakfast. What if, on the one hand, many Indigenous people are not the slightest bit interested, or on the other hand, wish to claim multiple affiliations ?

It's a tragedy that whoever thought up this 'Recognition' idea didn't anticipate and articulate some of these issues early on, instead of throwing one word up in the air: 'Recognition'. Of what ? Perhaps it's not yet too late.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Wednesday, 16 March 2016 10:18:49 AM
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Dear Joe,

<<Wow, 3:0. So 'Recognition' is seen by some as divisive?>>

Why 3:0?

That much the three of us seem to agree, that the suggested acts (3rd house of parliament / division into small states) would/will be divisive - yet here we depart: I consider a division of the Australian people to be positive whereas my learned colleagues see it negatively, thus if the question of sovereignty comes up in a referendum, then I'll vote for it while they would vote against.

I admit that, having been born overseas, I have no particular interest in the aboriginal society and [whatever still exists of] their tribal structures - so my vote in favour would be plainly opportunistic.

As per your latest suggestion of "a Treaty between a federal government representing all Australians, and a political entity, yet to be defined", I suspect that it would further legitimise the federal government (which does not represent me in any way!), so I would be likely to vote against it.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Wednesday, 16 March 2016 12:51:42 PM
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