Monday, 9 August 2010

Indigenous Policy, Some developments

I posted last week about the indigenous policies of the Liberals, the Greens and the ALP. The weekend news has had some developments. The Australian has reported,
Under pressure over Labor's lack of progress on its promise to hold a referendum to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin held talks yesterday with Aboriginal leaders Galarrwuy Yunupingu and Marcia Langton at the Garma festival, near Gove in northeastern Arnhem Land.
The article goes on to show that both Rudd and Howard proposed amendments to the constitution on this issue, but neither saw it through to the end.

I also agree with these comments by Prof. Marcia Langton (from the report).
"She has said nothing about indigenous people. If she has nothing at all to say about indigenous people . . . that will set a very bad tone for the relationship should she win the next election," Professor Langton said.
While it's important for the campaigning to be spread across the relevant ministers and senior figures, it's also important that the candidate for Prime Minister speak across the whole range of policies.

Perhaps the least impressive aspect of this is the return to reliance on community consensus rather than community persuasion. Strategy like this doesn't look like leadership, it looks like vote-winning through focus groups. I'm left wondering what the ALP believes. The members of the ALP aren't ignorant, I'm sure. Jenny Macklin has an honours degree in economics. Kevin Rudd has a first class honours degree in Arts (major in Chinese history). Julia Gillard has degrees in Arts and Law. These are are all people who have the ability to think and argue, but in this campaign I don't yet see it.
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