The Aboriginal franchise and its consequences

Murray Goot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This article traces the expansion (and contraction) of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander franchise for Commonwealth, state and territory elections, and to a lesser extent local government elections; it outlines the arguments made for (and against) Aboriginal enfranchisement; and it examines alternative accounts of what drove the expansion (and contraction) of the vote. It pulls together data on Aboriginal enrolment, political awareness and party support, particularly in the Northern Territory. And it examines divergent views about the consequences of Aborigines having the vote: claims that the franchise is an empty formality; claims that it has allowed Aborigines to be manipulated; and claims that it has generated benefits - symbolic, expressive and instrumental.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-561
Number of pages45
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


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