New Paper: Reflections on the Voice Referendum

Posted on June 17, 2024

I just sent off a new paper that will appear in an edited collection Civic Engagement in Australian Democracy in 2025 (the collection will be published by Anthem Press and is edited by Sarah Murray (UWA) and Lachlan Umbers (UWA).) Here is the abstract:

This paper reflects on the outcome of the 2023 Voice to Parliament Referendum. What does the outcome tell us about how the arguments for and against for the proposed Voice were received and understood by the voting public? What lessons can we learn from the outcome when it comes to supporting similar proposals in the future? The paper reflects on some of the main arguments offered for the proposed Voice in the lead up to the referendum and argues that they did not adequately address one of the central concerns that “no” voters had about the proposal. The paper then reflects on the prospects of addressing the legitimacy deficit faced by the Australian state with respect to its exercise of power and authority over Indigenous Australians. How does the outcome bear on the prospects of finding a legitimation of the exercise of power and authority by the Australian state that makes sense to the freely formed points of view of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?