We have just been down to vote in the referendum about altering the Australian Constitution to insert the following lines:

“Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:

  1. there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
  2. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  3. the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”1

It was about 11 am when we got to the voting station, in the local community hall, which is about a 10 minute walk from our home of some 31+ years. On the way we met some neighbours who had recently returned from a holiday in northern Western Australia and we chatted about their holiday and the problems they had with Qantas, which cancelled their flight at short notice. We hoped that it might improve, now that its former CEO Alan Joyce is gone. While we chatted, a former colleague of mine walked past and as we were involved in a conversation he simply got as brief ‘hello, how are you’, and he replied as he went on.

We got down to the voting station and passed by a YES volunteer, who asked ‘do you want one of these’ while holding out a leaflet, presumably telling us why we should vote YES. We waved her away with ‘No, we don’t need one; we will be voting YES’. She smiled. As we got to the door, a person wearing an Australian Electoral Commission bib welcomed us and asked; ‘are you voting together’. We said ‘yes’ and she replied ‘stand in line 4’ which we did. There were three couples in front of us and we had to wait about 5 minutes before we were ticked off the electoral roll and were given our ballot papers and pencils. While waiting in the queue, I couldn’t help looking at other people and wondering how they were going to vote. It would be impossible to pick, I suspect. After placing our ballots in the ballot box and returning our pencils to the ‘dirty pencil’ box (the pencils are cleaned and handed out again after every use; a Covid-19 measure), we walked out the door towards the shopping centre and passed another YES volunteer. Because we were leaving the station, she didn’t ask us if we needed a leaflet, but as she looked at us, I gave her a thumbs up, and she smiled.

While this all seems very mundane and commonplace, as voting often is in Canberra, there are many places in the world where such activities are either dangerous, not permitted, or are a façade run by dictatorial governments who will never allow anyone to take away their power. There are people in Australia who would like such a dictatorial government here, but most of them seem to be either fascists or religious nutters. With the latter, it is borne of desperation because they can see their power and influence wane before their eyes as people leave religion in droves. With the former; my parent’s generation spent several years of their lives fighting fascists, and several of their relatives and friends were killed doing so, and nobody should ever have to fight that same war again.




  • Mark Dougall says:

    I think, if I recall correctly, that you are a resident of the ACT, in which case you can be happy that you live in a community which is mostly caring and decent. For the rest of us who voted yes though, it is disheartening to think that many of our fellow citizens are not like that at all. A young relative of mine was handing out how to vote cards for the Yes campaign wearing a Liberals for Yes T shirt when she was called a traitor (traitor to the Liberal Party I guess) and a disgrace and told that she should “hang by the neck”. Even more astounding than these grotesque comments was that they came from two elderly women wearing No shirts. Similar stories have emerged from many polling booths around the nation. Even the weird rants of Price and Mundine at their so called press conference this morning were Trump like in their conspiracy theory flavoured mutterings about rigging votes and other total stupidities. There is a nasty underbelly to our society which has been exposed during this process.

    • admin says:

      Yep, I do live in the ACT. The ACT has been progressive for quite a while. It was the highest vote for same-sex marriage, at around 76% if I remember correctly. It has also dumped Zed Seselja, such that there are no coalition federal politicians representing the ACT for the first time ever. At a local level, the Liberal Party have been out of government since November 2001, and do not look to be within a bull’s roar of attaining government. The ACT has a Labor/Greens coalition government and it seems very low key and effective, whereas the Liberals seems like a religious rabble. I don’t really know for certain why the ACT is so progressive, but I suspect it is a combination of the high average education level, the fact that it has embassies with staff from all over the world. My kids played sport with ’embassy kids’ from Kenya, UK, Venezuela, and became friends with others at school and elsewhere. It is a very cosmopolitan place, and as you can tell, I really love living here. The only thing I miss from my old hometown are the beaches.

  • Warren says:

    I did the pre-poll thing (ACT) and came across an elderly lady handing out the “no” material. Being curious I had a quick read and told her she should be ashamed to hand out such frog shit. All lies.
    I must have spoken rather loudly because as I walk past the two “yes” people, they asked if I felt better and I replied that I certainly did, and stated that I have never seen/heard so much mis/disinformation and straight out lies. What our people afraid off? I’m am embarrassed to be Australian. Stupid and/or racist and/or entitled. People don’t like being reminded of our colonial passed?

    • admin says:

      It is upsetting that so many people voted the same way nazis did. There needs to be some sort of legislation that prevents these bastards from spreading lies in parliament and in the media. The No vote sickened me. The only consolation was that the ACT voted yes. So there are clearly fewer nazis, One Notion buffoons, or gullible tossers in Canberra.

  • JON says:

    I’M IN LOVE!!!

    Now you’re probably thinking one of the following: (a) what’s the relevance? (b) good for you but why, or why do you think we care? Or perhaps (c) being drunk in charge of a keyboard rarely ends well.

    Okay, I can (could) explain but if you listen to either of the links below I don’t think I need to elaborate to regular Blot readers. Suffice to say it’s heartening to finally see real, quality political journalism (apologies to ABC’s Patricia Karvelas). Journalism which exudes integrity, demands honesty and isn’t afraid to expose hypocrisy, lies, obvious irrelevant propaganda and juvenile waffle – all of which have spewed forth from the mouths of ideological asses like Dutton, Abbott, Price and Mundine, to name but a few of the “east coast elites” involved. In the Night Life discussion the newfound “love of my life” goes beyond those intellectually-challenged, myopic cons and callout the meaningless excuses put forward by some who voted NO.



    Amy Remeikis, more power to your hand and long may you

  • JON says:

    …and long may you reign

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