This is a game to test how you should vote in the upcomming referrendum on the Voice to Parliament.
It does involve using your imagination. The reason is because justice or fairness can only come about if you're able to see both sides of the story - or imagine that yourself seeing things from other people's perspectives.
(see Rawls, 1990; Habermas 1996 etc).
Are you game?
[[yes let's try!]]
[[what - thinking about other people? thinking about voting? I'm out]]OK - use your imagination and think about how this would feel:
You and your family has lived in Australia for as long as you can remember - as long as anyone can remember to be honest. Over all that time you've managed to figure out how to live here in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable.
But one day, 'settlers' from another country came and they claimed the entire continent in the name of that other country. They don't listen to your objections and start claiming all your propoerty without bothering to speak with you about it.
Anyone who resists is murdered and the dispossession is pretty much total. You can't visit your old neighbourhood, you can't use your own language. You are made to live in shanty towns on the edge of population centres but have to adopt the customs and language of the new settlers. On occasion your kids are taken away by the settlers for no apparent reason.
Over time, things slowly get better with the settlers gradually acknolwdedging that your ancestors existed, then recognising your people as citizens and then giving you the vote. But at this point, you are a tiny minority of the population.
250 years later, the settlers make an offer to formally recognise that your ancestoral history in their constitution. As part of that recognition, they will set up a mechanism where your people can advise on laws that affect you and your culture through a 'voice to parliament'.
How do you feel about this?
[[They gave me the right to vote and that's all I deserve!]]
[[This is a small but important step toward reconciliation|Vote yes]]
[[I am outraged, what an insult! Ours is the oldest living culture on earth and we haven't even been given any power! We could help teach the new settlers if they would just listen! But more worryingly, this 'Voice' is just lip-service and will make us seem responsible for our own problems without giving us the capcity to fix them!]]It's an interesting investment level: Interested enough to click on the start but not interested enough to try.
There is a lot of hatred out there around this topic so I'm not going to get on your case about not wanting to be involved. Maybe just vote yes so you're not depicted as a vile racist villian in the future eh?
Or if you know anyone else who could learn from the tool, pass on the link:
https://www.tauel.com/vote-decider-how-to-vote-in-the-voice-referrendum/You reflect on the fact that because the current constitution treats everyone equally, that means there's no need to 'single out' any one cultural group!
I mean just because you were here first, and had figured out a pretty good way to live here, doesn't mean you deserve to be listened to by the new settlers about how they could live here now.
And just because the 'democratic' system that you've been forced to adopt by the new settlers doesn't actually work very well to represent your interests, that's no reason to go changing it!
And just because the new settlers designed every social structure that you're now forced to work with, doesn't mean those social structures (language, education, religion, housing, political system) tend to inherently favour them, and disadvantage you!
And there's no need to have pride in your culture right? I mean it pretty much makes sense that a culture that existed for 60,000 years has nothing to say about issues that might matter to all Australians like sustainability, environmental care and mental health? Right?
I love the settlers and what they've done for our culture - despite the history of dispossession and murder. Those are small things, easily forgotten about!
And the whole idea of having a voice that can make recommendations to parliament (but not laws), couldn't help any of those issues and seems like giving us far too much power. I mean a non-binding recommendation would need to be listened to, or at least parliament would need to pretend to listen. That's far too much to ask!
[[Actually, as I reflect, I come to realise that the voice might not be such a bad idea after all|Vote yes]]Double-click this passage to edit it.Yeah, I know right?
Still you try to be understanding that this is a pretty progressive move for the settlers, after all, they've basically just got here.
This is not to say the voice has to be the end of the process for reconciliation but it is a good step.
It will help create the respect, acknowledgement and then dialogue to help us grow together as a united nation.
[[You're right, I'll vote yes - it is a start|Vote yes]]
[[No, this is simply not good enough]]IF YOU ARE FEELING LOW, CONTACT BEYOND BLUE FOR SUPPORT <https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support>
I mean the thing about the constitution that the settlers wrote is that it was written for everyone, and applies to everyone equally, even though my people were never considered or acknolwedged when it was originally written!
It is a fantastic, timeless document and that's why we read it all the time? Right?
That's why Australians all know it off-by-heart!
And that's why it has never had to be changed!
Aside from the 8 other times it has been changed.
And of course, even if we remain one of the last countries on earth not to either provide constitutional recognition or arrange a treaty with our first nations peoples, I am still confident we're not on the wrong side of history.
I'd rather be grouped with countries that haven't recognised their indigenous people - countries like Papua New Guinea, and Fiji, than be piled in with countries like Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. who we have nothing in common with!
[[If the first Australians don't help themselves, then they only have themselves to blame!]]
[[Maybe an advising voice and recognition in the constitution isn't the worst outcome here|Vote yes]]
Double-click this passage to edit it.Under the assumption that the Australian political system works perfectly for all Australians you have made up your mind!
You don't want division in your country!
So you you should VOTE NO against the voice to parliament and constitutional recognition for first Australians
What happens next?
The vote carries the election and the day after the result, the world press decries the Australian settler government has failed to pass a referrendum that would have constitutionally recognised the first Australians, and refused the proposal that would have allowed first Australians to provide a voice to parliament.
Are you proud of what you've achieved?
Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.You should vote No - because that's clearly where your heart lies. Even though doing so might make things harder in the short term, hopefully things turn out better in the long run.
[[Vote yes]]As the years pass by a few things happen:
The denial of a voice doesn't mean the gap between the first Australians and the settlers is closed, it gets wider
Australia is increasingly seen by the rest of the world as a racist and immoral country, out of place in an increasingly connected world. Trade slows, immigration and exports decline.
As social conditions worsen the division between those who wanted the voice and those who didn't continues to widen, as problems aren't solved.
Some orginal Australians start arguing that it is the whole damned system of the settlers that needs to be replaced. And interestingly, many of the settlers agree with them.
In 50 years, the refusal to include the first Australians in the constitution leads to the break out of a civil war, between the millions who want a new, united and brave Australia, and those few who cling on to settler culture as never having to grow up, and never having to change.
The settlers lose. Everything.
Thanks for playing. If you'd like to help other people make up their mind about how to vote, feel free to share the link:
https://www.tauel.com/vote-decider-how-to-vote-in-the-voice-referrendum/ You should VOTE YES in the upcoming referrendum
Congratulations! In doing so, you will make a more united Australia, you will honour and respect our indigenous cultures and hopefully improve our democracy in the process.
If you'd like to help other people make the right choice you can send them this link: https://www.tauel.com/vote-decider-how-to-vote-in-the-voice-referrendum/
Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.