By TONY MOBILIFONITIS
THE people of northern Sydney must be wondering what they elected. Their so-called “independent Teal” MP Zali Steggall has not only announced her support for the Constitutional referendum giving Aboriginal Australians “special political representation”, but she is sponsoring a so-called Stop the Lies Bill that could effectively censor debate about it.
Steggall’s Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Stop the Lies) Bill 2021 amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to prohibit misleading and deceptive political advertising during federal elections; prohibit political parties, candidates and campaigners from impersonating or passing off material as being from another candidate; and create a complaints process through the Australian Electoral Commissioner who may order a retraction of the statement or apology to the affected party.”
Great, you say. Let’s stop all those political lies. Well, good luck negotiating all the bureaucratic and legal skulduggery if such a Bill ever became law. Besides, it already is an offence under Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) to knowingly provide false or misleading information to a Commonwealth entity or a person “exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth”.
What would work more effectively to make politicians and bureaucrats more accountable would be citizen-initiated recall and referendum powers, which were actively campaigned for in Australia decades ago, but never gained traction.
But Steggall’s notice of intention to include Referenda in the Bill would present an opportunity for legal eagles working with activists to intimidate open and honest debate by the everyday Joe and Jill Blows. The so-called Uluru Statement from the Heart gives identity politics Constitutional status on behalf of the entrenched leftist Aboriginal activist elite. Will the next thing be to give the “LGBTIQ+ community” Constitutional recognition?
Senator Jacinta Nampijimpa-Price, who represents all Northern Territory people regardless of race, is not impressed with the so-called Uluru statement and posted her disapproval of Steggall’s plan on Twitter. “You know what’s a lie[?] Claiming the Uluṟu Statement represents Aboriginal Australia! It doesn’t, it represents 250 unelected individuals, rich corporates and the privileged guilt-ridden woke!” she wrote.
Senator Price couldn’t have put it more concisely. The Aboriginal land rights movement has generational links to old-guard Marxists from the Australian Communist Party and neo-Marxists and New Left ideologues in academia, the media and the Australian Labor Party. They have always played the guilt-ridden people who lack the wisdom and insight to see that Aboriginal social problems are much deeper than simply “white Australian racism”.
The latest manifestation of this neo-Marxism is the radical Victorian Greens Senator, Lidia Thorpe, who exhibits total contempt of the Senate she was elected to, and is prone to smearing anyone who questions or disagrees with her “black activism” as a “racist”. But Thorpe has no credibility after being revealed as having an affair with the leader of the Rebels bikie gang while sitting on a joint parliamentary law enforcement committee.
Steggall essentially represents the standard environmentalism and identity politics of the Liberal Party and Teal left wing. She is also a big advocate of “renewable energy” so it’s standing joke on social media for people to post memes of the beaches and suburbs of northern Sydney with windmills pasted over them.
The obvious flaw of the Stop the Lies Bill was even picked up by one of her supporters. “I like the idea of this… but can’t image how it could ever be policed,” she commented. Catriona Thoolen followed up saying: “That is actually the problem. Who can report the lies? Who decides what is the truth? How long would it take to make that decision? How many people would need to be employed to do the fact-checking? How do they check? Wiki?”
Senator Price is a Country Liberal Party conservative thinker (and Republican) who says there are more pressing issues than the Uluru Statement from the Heart, such as education funding for the Yipirinya School in Alice Springs and stopping “rivers of grog” flowing into Indigenous communities.
Speaking on a Q&A Show back in August, Senator Price rejected the referendum plan to “enshrine an Indigenous voice within the Australian Constitution” because she could see “another bureaucracy” arising and the dangers if things went wrong once it was in the constitution.
Senator Price said Indigenous communities such as the Gumatj had been able to advance without this supposed political solution. “What they have done with their country, the way they educate their young people, have industry up and running — they have their own bauxite mine. All those things have already happened and it’s all successfully occurred without the need for enshrining a voice to parliament to do so.