Albanese ‘rigging’ Voice referendum

by DAVID FLINT – PERHAPS the best way to compare prime ministers is by their respect for the constitution. Three are in the news these days, Anthony Albanese, John Howard and Gough Whitlam. 

While Whitlam, a QC, knowingly played the constitutional delinquent in a vain endeavour to hang on to power, Anthony Albanese has already earned the worst record of any prime minister for trying to rig referendums. 

Instead of following Howard’s gold standard, Albanese has stooped to rigging the vote both in the Voice and the republic referendum.

The prime minister who allowed the Australian people the freest choice ever in determining their constitutional future, John Howard, is unsurprisingly also among our greatest.

The sense of propriety in relation to constitutional affairs he demonstrated is surely indicative of the virtues essential to good government.


Whitlam’s great fault is that he knowingly flouted the constitutional principle that a government that cannot obtain supply, that is, parliamentary permission to access taxes and other revenues, must resign or advise a general election.

Informing the House in 1970 that his Labor Opposition would seek to withhold supply in the Senate, Whitlam declared, “This bill will be defeated in another place. The government should then resign”.

He even had his shadow attorney-general, Lionel Murphy, table a list of Labor’s previous 169 attempts to deny supply to a government.

In 1973 and now PM, Whitlam responded to a Coalition threat against supply by advising an election, which he won. But when the Coalition repeated this in 1975, when his electoral prospects were grim, Whitlam unsuccessfully sought bank loans and then proposed a half-Senate election, pointless because new senators could not take their seats until July 1, 1976. When on November 11, 1975, he refused to advise a general election, Sir John Kerr dismissed him. In the subsequent election on December 13, the Coalition won by a landslide.

Contrast Whitlam and Albanese with Howard. To dispose of that then-fashionable issue, fake republicanism, Howard called a constitutional convention.

Despite support for their preferred model falling short of the required absolute majority, Howard decided, to republican applause, to put it to a referendum.


But when the republicans lost, they pushed the following lies for years in the mainstream media just to turn the blame on Howard.

He rigged the convention, they lied. But only 36 of the 152 delegates were in Howard’s gift. He allocated them to the eminent and the under-represented, the indigenous and the young. Of those 36 in his gift, 26 supported a republic. Some rigging!

Then they claimed Howard rigged the model. Turnbull’s work, it was overwhelmingly preferred in every convention vote by the elected republican delegates.

The third lie was that Howard imposed the question. Not so, it came from the large republican parliamentary majority, whose representatives ignored the ACM’s proposal that the question also show the extraordinarily unlimited power the PM would have to dismiss the president.

Australians should appreciate that this was the very first constitutional convention with elected delegates since federation, the elected delegates’ preferred model was put to the people, the official Yes/No booklet, approved by MPs and senators on either side, went to every voter and, for the first time, the Yes and No campaigns were publicly funded.

This was the fairest exercise ever held to allow Australians to determine their constitutional future. But instead of following Howard’s gold standard, Albanese has stooped to rigging the vote both in the Voice and the republic referendum.

In the meantime, the constitutional aberration of a funded republican portfolio has been filled with the incumbent campaigning even now for some as yet unknown politicians’ republic. What is going on?

As to the Voice referendum, the official line is that there is to be no funding for either side. This is manifestly untrue. The Budget surreptitiously provides that gifts through a Yes case entity, will be tax deductible.

So if one of Albanese’s wealthy mates wanted to indulge in some virtue-signalling by giving, say, $5m to the Yes case, he wouldn’t actually pay $5 million.


With Albanese’s sleight of hand, poor, hardworking taxpayers in Labor-held electorates will unknowingly contribute $2.25 million with Albanese’s wealthy mate getting the credit for $5 million but only paying slightly more than half.

What a racket!

In the meantime, annoyed by the way the 1999 No case ran rings around Turnbull’s mediocre Yes case, a previous Labor government set out to weaken the impact of the Yes/No booklet. This was despite it being a jewel created by the Fisher Labor government over a century ago.

But by the 2013 “garbage tin amendment”, instead of it going to every elector, only one copy is to be shared at each address.

So where else does an envelope addressed “To the Householders” go but to the garbage-tin? It’s unlikely to be passed around. And that, of course, was Labor’s clear intention.

Not content with this and determined to gag the No case and its superb leader Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Albanese has introduced legislation both to “suspend” (meaning abolish) the Yes/No booklet and give his government a free hand to dish out vast sums from the $235m referendum allocation for a so-called “educational” campaign to “counter disinformation”.

Has any Australian government ever been this shonky?

Australians should remember three things. First, while elites look down on Australians for saying No, they never remind you federal referendums were usually put by Canberra to get more power or to monkey around with something that works.

Second, if you wonder why we don’t have many these days, it’s because the High Court has given Canberra just about any power it wants.

Third, if the Voice gets up, neither you, nor even the people you elect, will decide what it means. It will be the same High Court that has handed over so much power to Canberra.

Just how many Australians know that in the coming referendum, and in the second if there is one, they will be asked to sign a blank cheque?PC

David Flint

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Anthony Albanese. (courtesy The Guardian)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on December 11, 2022. Re-used with permission.

11 thoughts on “Albanese ‘rigging’ Voice referendum

  1. I wrote to three ALP MP’s & the PM, about the Voice & its Racist Implications. I pointed out that “Why does Australia need Three Not Two systems of Federal Governance”? Why is the Federal Government supporting the YES case, but not the NO case? Why are they allowing donations to the YES case as Tax Deductions, but, donations to the NO case are not Tax Deductable. Finally, this so called Referendum is aimed to destroy the Westminster System of Government which is the cornerstone of our Parliamentary, Legal & Constitutional Govt. I am still awaiting replies from these shams of Politicians.

  2. A lot of people clearly do not understand the term ‘racism’. They think it’s only racist if you say something bad or negative about a person of a different race. That’s not the case. Racism means treating someone of another race DIFFERENTLY to those of your own race – and that is EXACTLY what the Voice is planning to accomplish. It is clearly racist to classify Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders as a separate entity within our nation and treat them differently because of their race.

  3. When the black fella flag and the Welcome to country go I will vote for the “Voice” because only then will we be One Nation.

  4. Why do we need a Voice when at State and Federal level there are Aboriginal welfare departments and committees in abundance. And ATSIC was such a great extra level of bureaucracy, wasn’t it?? Entrenching it in the Constitution is madness if it has to be modified or abolished (eg., ATSIC).

  5. Both ‘referenda’ look like shaping up the same as the SSM ‘survey’, totally predetermined by of shore Elites and helped along by the useful idiots of the Labor party. People need to vote ‘NO’ if that is what they believe. If you vote informal or not at all, you can bet that your vote will be counted as a yes.

  6. Voice first. Then republic.

    Then we laugh at the old white conservative monarchists desperately sobbing at the loss of their bigoted colonial monoculture.

    1. Sir, all I can say is you are blinded by a sense of euphoria because you now have a Government which lied its way into office. Just wait, within a short period, Australia will be bankrupt and many of its good citizens will be feeling the effects of overspending on useless projects. The move to Clean Energy projects with no backup supporting our future industries will be a disaster. I love Australia but I fear for its future. I feel sorry for you sir.

    2. Why thank you to Mr Jones. I happen to be one of those “Old, White, Colonial Monarchists” who has had the privilege of living in this great country since my birth. It is obvious you do not understand our system of Government – that being “The Westminster System”. Now if you want changes made to the Legal, Constitutional & Governance of Australia, you have the right to propose to your Local MP for change. On the other hand, be careful of the “many cans of worms you may create!” The result may be worse than what we currently have!

  7. In May 1967, after 10 years of campaigning, a referendum on Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution was held.
    The lead-up to the poll focused public attention on the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were treated as second-class citizens.
    Nearly 91 per cent of the electorate voted to amend the constitution. This change meant that Aboriginal people would be counted as part of the population and acknowledged as equal citizens, and that the Commonwealth would be able to make laws on their behalf. This was seen to reflect public recognition of Aboriginal people as full Australian citizens.

    The Federal Government legislated to establish the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission, because of a lack of governance and corruption ATSIC was abandoned, closed down.

    Now Albanese Labor and activists plan to call their new so called Voice;

    Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Voice.

    But don’t ask for details, its top secret.


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