Category Archives: Constitution

The Constitution

THE Constitution would be amended to encourage respect for indigenous Australians, and denounce discrimination, if an expert panel’s findings are adopted.

Personally I’m of the “respect is earned” school but I am against race based discrimination.

The report calls for the removal of sections 25 and 51 and the inclusion of a new section 51A that recognises that the continent and its islands now known as Australia “were first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

I have just read section 51 and the only mention of race is section xxvi that says The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

-The people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws:

Why would the expert panel recommend the removal of all of section 51 rather than just the sub section that deals with race?

Anybody?

Section 25, however, deals explicitly with race;

25. For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of the race resident in that State shall not be counted.

I can see a case to remove section 25 but not to remove all of section 51.

The panel want a new new section 51A that recognises that the continent and its islands now known as Australia “were first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

I don’t get the point of that. If you did that in European countries their constitutions would simply be a litany of races that have been through their countries.

On first glance I would be happy to support removal of sections that specifically mention race but not any inclusions of same just to point out they were here before us.

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