Why Senator Jacinta Price will vote No in referendum

An opinion piece published in the Daily Telegraph, September 17, 2023

We are just a few weeks out from the most divisive referendum this country has ever faced.

As more people tune in to the debate, it’s clear they understand the significance of the change they’ve been asked to consider, and they have questions.

The one I get the most often, “Why are you, an Aboriginal woman, opposing the Voice?”

The answer is simple, it’s the Voice of division.

I don’t want our country to be divided along the lines of race.

As a nation we have spent lifetimes unifying, breaking down barriers, increasing understanding and acceptance of different backgrounds and cultures.

We have spent 122 years forging a uniquely Australian culture that looks beyond skin colour, racial heritage or birthplace.

We haven’t always gotten it right, but it’s undeniable that we have consistently aimed up, we’ve sought to correct the wrongs of the past, our march has been forward.

The Voice is a step backwards.

The Voice is a wall between Australians.

The Voice is divisive.

I don’t believe this is a way to recognition or reconciliation, because it has not been

a collaborative or unifying process.

It has been invite only every step of the way. A movement of academics, activists and elites who think they know better. Trust us, they say, we’ll get it right and give you the details later.

When legal experts who support the Voice in principle have disagreed, they were tossed aside, sometimes copping abuse and name-calling for their efforts.

Rather than admit they got it wrong, go back and try again, advocates doggedly pursue their divisive Voice no matter the cost, no matter the damage being done to the country.

When Yes campaigners realised they couldn’t win on the merits or their proposal, they turned to emotional blackmail.

They make promises they know they can’t keep.

They point to life expectancy, abuse and neglect as reasons to support their divisive Voice, but can never explain how it would help.

They talk about the “hand of friendship and love” and say things like “no decent Australian could reject that.”

They claim that arguments against the Voice are just racist and stupid.

Their vision of Australia seems to be that it is a horrible and racist place. Those are the words of Yes advocate and Professor Marcia Langton, “of course Australia is racist, it’s a horrible racist country.”

For them, this Voice isn’t an attempt to unite, but a tool to divide.

It’s a mechanism to undermine the work generations of Australians have done to bring us closer together.

My mother is Warlpiri, my father is of Irish descent, all three of us are Australian.

I don’t want to see my family divided. I don’t want to see our country divided.

I want us to be one, together and not two divided.

That’s why I’m voting No to the Voice of division.