The assertion by Jenny Macklin that the Coalition should line up behind the Government to support a Constitutional referendum to
acknowledge first Australians
has as much credibility as claiming that the Coalition should line up behind Labor to support the carbon tax.
It is entirely reasonable, and in fact democratic, to oppose such a referendum. Why should a Constitution acknowledge any group in society? It is supposed to represent Australia as a whole.
The proposed referendum would also be inconsistent
In January, an expert panel recommended that the Constitution be altered to remove racist sections and create power for the advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the protection of language and culture. It also called for a clause against racial discrimination.
Thus the referendum would at a stroke remove racist provisions and add them back.
The proposed referendum is divisive and should be opposed. All Australians, whether born here or overseas; whether their ancestors are Italian or Egyptian; or whether their ancestors have lived in Australia for generations should be equal under the Constitution. No group should be singled out for special mention: all groups have contributed to make Australia what it is today.