Waleed Aly’s assertion that less educated Australians had failed to understand the complexities of the Indigenous voice proposal was nowhere to be found in his latest newspaper column on why the Yes campaign failed.
In his regular political column for Nine-Fairfax newspapers, The Project host and academic abandoned any focus on how voters with “lower levels” of higher education voted – a claim he made controversially earlier this week.
Instead, he now says that “something about the idea itself didn’t quite fit with the intuitions of enough Australians”.
“The best story I’ve seen on this comes from pollster Jim Reed, who concluded that Australians will vote to ‘give equal opportunity to individuals regardless of their characteristics’, but will not vote for something that ‘addresses individuals differently’,” Aly wrote.
The central hurdle that the Voice proposal never overcame, Aly writes, was “that it was exclusive to a subset of Australians”.
The Melbourne-based academic also noted that Voice’s proposal posed “very important” questions that were not easily answered with the blunt “Yes” or “No” answers demanded by the “terrible beast” that is a referendum.
Project facilitator Waleed Aly, pictured with his wife Susan Carland, now says the failure of the Voice referendum’s Yes campaign indicates that “something about the idea itself didn’t quite fit with people’s hunches.” ‘enough number of Australians’. Earlier this week, he focused on the education level of those who voted no.
Reasons such as prejudice against indigenous people, misinformation on social media and why many Labor voters abandoned the proposition were not enough, Aly argued, to explain the 60 per cent no vote on Saturday last.
Aly and ABC presenter Patricia Karvelas were both criticized in the days following the referendum result for claiming the no vote was led by less educated Australians who may not have fully grasped the complexity of the question.
Australia voted overwhelmingly no to the proposed constitutional amendment, with all states rejecting the proposal and only the ACT voting yes, in a blow to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who led the referendum.
During The Project’s analysis of the results on Monday night, Aly claimed educated Australians were more likely to vote yes.
The Yes campaign suffered a significant setback in western Sydney, with 10 federal electorates in the region key to Labor all voting no.
They are also home to millions of working-class Australians that Aly referred to in his analysis of the referendum result.
Aly, who is also a university professor, said people with “the lowest levels of higher education… were at the bottom of the Yes vote scale”.
“The biggest dividing line seems to have been education. If you held a seat with high levels of higher education, bachelor’s degree or position, you were at the very top of voting yes,” Aly said.
“And that doesn’t mean that educated people know what they’re doing, that those without higher education don’t know, it’s a question of the style of the message.”
Aly said he “completely understood why you would propose (The Voice). If you go through history, you go through the experience of the people who conceived it or came up with the idea, it makes perfect sense.
“But most people haven’t been on that journey, and when you present them with this idea that’s actually quite abstract and complicated, they’re going to react with an instinct and that instinct is that it just doesn’t feel right to them. “
Ned Mannoun, mayor of Liverpool Council in Sydney’s west, hit back at Aly’s comments and said no voter in his electorate was “not stupid”.
Education level was the main deciding factor in whether people voted yes or no for the Indigenous Voice in Parliament, Waleed Aly said last Monday after the referendum result. But he gave different reasons in a follow-up newspaper column.
“A comment that says ‘we’re not smart, that’s why we didn’t vote for The Voice’ is pretty disrespectful,” Mannoun told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
“The people here are very intelligent. They understand what’s going on, and there are several reasons why they didn’t vote yes on The Voice, and it wasn’t for educational reasons.
“If you use higher education as a way to judge intelligence, then I think that’s (a) very simplistic view of the world.”
“There are people, I’m sure you would have met them throughout your life Ben, who work very hard. They’re very, very, very smart people – they’ve never been to college before.
Mr Mannoun said western Sydney voters rejected the idea of supporting The Voice due to a lack of detail on the proposal.
“Again, that gut feeling, I think people here can smell bullshit a mile away.
“It just doesn’t make sense, because if there had been details, I think they would have had (a) much better chance of recruiting people, but people didn’t know what it was.” was.”
“I couldn’t explain it to people. I didn’t have any details, I think I have a good idea of how government works,” he said.
“It made no sense. So please don’t look down on us here.
Ms Karvelas was also criticized after analyzing how people’s education and income reflected their vote with Fran Kelly on the ABC podcast, The Party Room.
ABC Radio National Q&A host Patricia Karvelas (pictured) was criticized after she and Fran Kelly analyzed how people’s education and income reflected their vote.
“The yes vote, if you look at it, was obtained in places where voters have a bachelor’s degree or have an above-average salary Fran, right?” » said Karvelas.
“If you have a bachelor’s degree, chances are you are familiar with government structures and interested in how these things happen, not because you are better, but simply because you are have the opportunity. have done this.
The Radio National presenter stressed that she was not “judging people’s achievements” and was only suggesting that those with a bachelor’s degree were more likely to come to a “different conclusion” about Voice.
“I think about you know, who and where remote Indigenous Australians are probably getting it, because they’re experiencing it,” she said.
“And where people have been educated, they have come to different conclusions.
“And then you have a whole group of people who are working very hard, I might say, and who probably have very little time to concentrate on reading the constitutions or the proposals, and making the crucial decisions fairly quickly, for which I think rapid social media campaigns are probably necessary.” had a great impact.
“And so I think that’s the most important part of the demographic story.” And the Yes campaign did not touch these people.
Waleed and Karvelas’ comments were described by Australians as “out of touch with reality”.
One said: “When ABC journalists like Karvelas wonder why the No campaign’s message of ‘No to division’ is so powerful, they should take a hard look at carefully about themselves.”
Another added: “This is coming from a talking head working in a sheltered workshop.”
The referendum result left states uncertain about the possibility of entering into treaties with indigenous peoples.
Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli on Thursday backed away from his pledge to provide bipartisan support for a treaty in the state. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reminded reporters that the process would need bipartisan support to succeed.
Meanwhile, New South Wales Premier Chris Minns and South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas indicated progress towards the treaties would continue in their states.