Constitutional amendments in Australian politics have historically been challenging. The Labor party in particular has a poor track record in achieving constitutional changes with only one successful amendment out of 25 proposals.

The upcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice referendum appears to be following a similar pattern of declining support, with polls suggesting it may secure only 40% of the national vote and lack majority state support.  If the “yes” camp’s momentum doesn’t pick up, the government will face complex challenges in addressing the outcome.  Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will need to ingeminate his commitment to reconciliation if he wishes appear genuine.

Both at home and abroad, some may view a “no” vote as exposing a troubling undercurrent of racism in Australia.  Mr Albanese will very likely need to confront this perception, despite the dangers of a divisive campaign.


Image: Image: Shutterstock – Pic Media Aus

Produced By: Frances Du

Featured In Story: Emeritus Professor of Politics Paul Strangio at Monash University

First aired on The Wire, Wednesday 4 October 2023