Turnbull was right to reject The Voice but he has made an absolute hash of the rest of the recognition issue and has left the field open for Shorten to make merry havoc. It is an old saw but true that there are no votes in Aboriginal policy but Shorten can now pick up and run with the many "other issues" that are still on the table.
I cannot be any more clear than this: Labor supports a voice for Aboriginal people in our Constitution, we support a declaration by all parliaments, we support a truth-telling commission. We are not confronted by the notion of treaties with our first Australians. For us the question is not whether we do these things, the question is not if we should do these things but when and how. The Parliament needs to be engaged. The Parliament needs to be engaged now. The Parliament needs to start the process of engaging with the people of Australia now.
If Abbott had been in power last Friday he would have in all likelihood made a better response than the equivocation from our current leaders. Neither Turnbull or Shorten have the wit, interest or political savvy to get a treaty—or the other proposals in the Uluru Statement—past their respective right wings, who as my colleague Bernard Keane stressed in Crikey yesterday will—with their fellow-travellers—be more than willing to employ dishonesty and deceit to push back on any proposal for a treaty.
Bill Shorten--unless Malcolm Turnbull falls under one of his beloved trains--will lose this election. Soon after losing Shorten will either fall on his sword or be pushed by the Left, who have long regarded Rudd's succession rule as farcical.