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History of Australia
In the Australian 1967 referendum what were the results for both questions?
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What are the difficulties in determining aboriginal numbers between 1788 until after the referendum in 1967?
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Why did Australians overwhelmingly vote yes in the 1967 referendum?
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What did the referendum of 1967 achieve?
In 1967, the Government deemed a referendum to achieve aboriginals to be counted in the national census, instead of counting cows instead, and to give aboriginals the right to vote in national, state and local elections. In referring to this, the government and High Court deemed section 127 unconstitutional and was repealed by section 51, which in this referendum deleted the words, 'other than aboriginals'. Before this referendum, racism, also effected sections of the UN declaration signed in 1945, specifically, section 2, section 5, section 7 and Section 9. This from this, is a great achievement to stop discrimination in Australia.
Why did the 1967 referendum take place?
The 1967 referendum was to recognise more Aboriginal rights as equal citizens. The following information is from today.wmit.net - May 27 Aboriginal people became Australian citizens in 1947, when a separate Australian citizenship was created for the first time. Prior to this, all Australians were "British subjects". Aboriginal people gained the vote in Commonwealth territories in 1965, and earlier in different states, according to various state laws. The referendum of 27 May 1967 approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians, removing two sections from the Constitution. The first was a phrase in Section 51 (xxvi) which stated that the Federal Government had the power to make laws with respect to "the people of any race, other than the Aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws." The referendum removed the phrase "other than the Aboriginal race in any State," giving the Commonwealth the power to make laws specifically to benefit Aboriginal people. The second was Section 127, which stated: "In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, Aboriginal natives shall not be counted." The referendum deleted this section from the Constitution. This was not a reference to the census, as Aboriginal people living in settled areas were counted in Commonwealth censuses before 1967. Rather, the section related to calculating the population of the states and territories for the purpose of allocating seats in Parliament and per capita Commonwealth grants. This prevented Queensland and Western Australia using their large Aboriginal populations to gain extra seats or extra funds. The referendum was endorsed by over 90% of voters and carried in all six states. Ultimately, the real legislative and political impact of the 1967 referendum was to enable the federal government to take action in the area of Aboriginal Affairs, introducing policies to encourage self-determination and financial security for Aborigines.
How is people power involved in the 1967 referendum?
A referendum occurs when the Government puts forward a motion to the Australian public regarding possible changes to the Constitution. Essentially, to change the constitution, a double majority result is needed to invoke such a change. This means that majority of people in the majority of states must approve of the change. Essentially people power is involved in this due to the majority of people saying that they wanted the change. Their legal and constitutional right to vote gave them the opportunity to do this.
Asked in Indigenous Australians
When were aboriginals able to vote?
It is a popular myth that a referendum to change the Australian Constitution in 1967 gave Aboriginals the vote. What the referendum actually did was to remove a provision from the constitution that excluded Aboriginal people from census figures which in turn were used to calculate the distribution and boundaries of electorates. This constitutional revision was required to correct the anomaly that while Aboriginal people already had the vote they were not included in the calculations used to make for electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. Australian Aboriginal's right to vote varied from territory to territory with some (including women) having the right to vote (though rarely exercised) from the 19th century. Federal legislation in 1949 and 1962 formalized voting qualifications for Aboriginal people and with the State of Queensland introducing legislation in 1965, all Australians of Aboriginal descent then had full voting rights in all parts of the country and were able to vote in the referendum that supposedly 'gave them the vote'. See this article for full details: http://www.aec.gov.au/voting/indigenous_vote/aborigin.htm The myth that Aborigines gained the right to vote in the 1967 referendum is perpetuated by lazy and inept journalists and to a certain extent by the consent of a ruling class that likes to pretend that Australian society is less racist than it is. It has been conjectured that a popular referendum to actually give political rights to Aboriginal people would not have passed.