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 Ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been heckled outside an early voting booth after casting his ‘No’ vote in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. 

Mr Abbott was pursued by a Yes supporter and repeatedly told he was ‘on the wrong side of history’ after emerging from an early polling station at Penrith in Sydney‘s west.

‘Always on the wrong side of history, Tony,’ the heckler said to Mr Abbott’s back as he walked down stairs taking him away from the poll site. 

The former PM has been ardent in his opposition to the Voice, saying that it would deepen a sense of victimhood that has become entrenched in Australia. 

Ex-PM Tony Abbott was heckled outside of a polling centre after he confirmed that he had voted No for the Voice to Parliament referendum

The heckler berated Mr Abbott upon leaving the polling place, telling the ex-PM that he was ‘always on the wrong side of history’

Mr Abbott has been ardent in his opposition to the Voice, saying that it would only deepen Australia’s sense of victimhood

What began as a casual discussion about his glasses quickly devolved into Mr Abbott quickly leaving the scene after a Yes supporter began chastising him. 

‘I suppose I didn’t need my glasses to write N-O, but I’ve done it,’ Mr Abbott told one person before the heckler appeared.

‘Always on the wrong side of history, mate,’ the man shouted at Mr Abbott. 

Mr Abbott has been a leading supporter for the No campaign, along with current leader of the opposition Peter Dutton and fellow former Prime Minister John Howard. 

The former PM, who created an Indigenous Advisory Council of prominent Indigenous representatives while in office, had delivered speeches around the country, sometimes evoking the words of civil rights leaders, to campaign against the Voice. 

At an Institute of Public Affairs event in Perth on August 9, he outlined the reasons he would be voting ‘No’.

‘Citing … the wonderful words of Bob Hawke back on Australia Day in 1988, “We are a country with no hierarchy of descent. We are a country with no privilege of origin”,’ Mr Abbott said.

‘Citing the immortal words of Martin Luther King from an earlier generation, “I want to live in a country where my four children are judged not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

‘My absolute desire is that we can go forward as one equal people and that’s why I’ll be voting No. Because I absolutely reject any suggestion that there is something fundamentally wrong with this great country, Australia.’

Mr Abbott said if the Yes campaign for the Voice was successful, it would ‘entrench victimhood in our constitution forever’. 

In 2013 while he was still in office, however, Mr Abbott appeared at the annual Garma Festival to discuss Indigenous recognition. 

‘I want to say that as far as I am concerned, one of the most important things that any new government could achieve is the final recognition of indigenous people in the Australian constitution,’ he told the crowd at the time.

‘Indigenous recognition would not be changing our constitution, but completing our constitution.’

Mr Abbott also endorsed the ‘Recognise’ campaign in 2015, which sought to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the preamble of the Australian constitution.

Both Mr Abbott and Mr Howard have said that Australia was ‘lucky‘ to have been colonised and that the British settlement was beneficial for the country.  

Building on the momentum, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was created in 2017 which served as the starting point for talks about the referendum.

In 2013 however, the then-prime minister said that the constitution would only be ‘completed’ when Indigenous recognition was enshrined in the document while speaking at the Garma Festival (pictured)

Australians have started voting in the referendum, with next Saturday October 14 the final day to vote Yes or No to both recognised First Nations people in the constitution and establish an Indigenous advisory body to the Australian parliament. 

This will be the first referendum Australia has had since 1999.

 The most recent Newspoll suggested the Yes vote would fail 36 to 56 per cent.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese cast his vote early in the historic Voice to Parliament referendum from his home electorate of Marrickville.

‘Yes for recognition, Yes for listening, Yes for better outcomes,’ Mr Albanese wrote in a social media post, accompanied by a photo of him putting his vote into the ballot box alongside his son Nathan. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese cast his vote early in the historic Voice to Parliament referendum from his home electorate of Marrickville

How the Prime Ministers are voting in the Voice Referendum  

Most living former Prime Ministers have weighed in on the Voice to Parliament referendum, handing powerful endorsements to each side of the debate.

Voting Yes 

Paul Keating

Mr Keating sat down with leading Indigenous rights activist, Noel Pearson, in 2022 and said that the Voice offers the best means of ensuring practical improvement to the lived experience of indigenous Australians.

Kevin Rudd

The Ambassador to the United States has strayed away from the topic since stepping into his new role but was the first to cast a vote in Washington, DC, on October 2. He had previously strongly endorsed the Voice to Parliament.

Julia Gillard

Ms Gillard launched the Yes23 campaign for expats in London in September, telling the crowd that ‘the Voice will ensure is that we always hear, that we always have, the best, best voice telling us what needs to be done by our nation next’.

Malcolm Turnbull

Mr Turnbull wrote an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald where he explained why his government didn’t hold their own referendum, but that he is voting yes in Mr Albanese’s. 

Anthony Albanese

As the leading campaigner for the Voice to Parliament’s Yes campaign, the current Prime Minister has made it no secret that he fully supports the proposition. 

Voting No

John Howard

Mr Howard told the Australian that ‘I don’t think it is going to produce anything other than regular stand-offs between what the Voice is asking for and what the government of the day is willing to do.’

Tony Abbott

Mr Abbott has said that the Voice will enshrine victimhood in the country, and confirmed at a polling centre in Penrith, Sydney, that he voted No. 


Scott Morrisson

The most recent former prime minister has remained quiet on the upcoming referendum, but did slam Mr Albanese for ‘gambling with the constitution’ in a speech in May.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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