Nearly 200,000 people did the ABC Vote Compass in the first two weeks of the election, and it turns out that around three quarters of us think that Aboriginal people should be recognised in the Australian Constitution as the original owners of this land.
All three major parties agree that Aboriginal people should be recognised, but they all totally disagree on how that could be achieved, and what the constitutional outcome would be.
While Vote Compass shows broad agreement for Aboriginal recognition, these numbers are apparently not dissimilar to 2013’s, according to ABC.
The only way that this change (and any change to the Constitution) can happen, is if the Aussie public vote in a national referendum.
Recognise Campaign director Tanya Hosch said that this has to be a group effort between all Australians:
“We can’t do this on our own, this has to be a partnership with as many Australians as possible.
Significant-sized national polls over the last almost four years now show people are impatient for this change to occur, so what we do need is for the political leaders to grasp that sentiment and that opportunity and play their part.”
At the moment the Australian Constitution — the highest legal document in the country — doesn’t recognise the people who have always been here. We’ve got a legal document that […] actually misses a significant part of the whole Australian story and there’s an opportunity to fix that.”
All of that being said, changing the Constitution isn’t unanimously seen as the best option to move forward.
According to Indigenous rights barrister and first Indigenous Senior Counsel Tony McEvoy, many Aboriginal people believe that Constitutional changes are a mere distraction from not acknowledging that a treaty is necessary.
“At some point the treaty discussion is going to have to enter the national political debate.”
“[But] I think there is a far larger group who are less vocal who would say yes, we need constitutional reform to bring the constitution much closer to being up to speed with the relationships with the country, and we also need to do work on first nations treaties.”
If you’d like to look closer at the Vote Compass, you can read the FAQs here: abc.net.au/news/2016-05-12/vote-compass-data-reporting-faq/7409492
If you’d like to delve deeper into where you stand in the spectrum of Aussie politics, take the Vote Compass here: votecompass.abc.net.au
[From the ABC: These results are based on 196,952 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from May 8 to May 18, 2016. The data has been weighted to ensure the sample reflects the Australian population.]
Source: ABC Vote Compass.
Photo: Chloe Sargeant / PEDESTRIAN.TV.