Vote Yes for a fairer Australia

The most compelling reason to vote Yes in next week’s referendum is that the current system has manifestly failed Indigenous Australians. And has done so since the first days of colonization.

The stats are out there for all to see. The early deaths, the incarceration rates, the children taken from families, the poorer health outcomes in a whole range of disease, Education. Employment. Whatever stat you want to produce, Aboriginal and Torres Islander people come out worse off.

The No vote is a vote for the status quo. It’s a vote to allow this shameful state of affairs to continue. The No vote’s entire case is bound up in misinformation and fear. They offer no solutions that will help Indigenous Australians. They talk of “declarations of war’’ and “maintain the rage’’. They talk in ugly, violent language about an issue that should bring the country together. A simple acknowledgment that the past was awful but this is an opportunity to build a more united, fairer country.

But the fear and misinformation is out there. There was a bloke on the TV news last night who said all Australian property owners would pay some kind of “land tax’’ if the Voice gets up. It’s nonsense, but people take comfort in nonsense.

The Voice is a simple concept made complex by those that oppose it.

It’s a practical process that will allow Indigenous people an opportunity to have a greater say in solving the problems they face by asking their opinion.

A Yes vote won’t solve all the issues overnight. Of course, it won’t. These are problems that have been either ignored or left to fester for 235 years. But it’s a small step in the right direction.