Rita Panahi Herald Sun May 26, 2023
The backers of the so-called “Indigenous Voice” are not content with the top end of town – including corporates, sporting organisations, celebrities, academia and the bulk of the media pushing the “yes” vote. They want to fortify the referendum by using taxpayer money to push their agenda. If you’ve passed a TV or radio in recent days chances are you’ve seen or heard commercials that are meant to be impartial and purely information based, but are nothing of the sort.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney promised “neutral civics information”, but what we are seeing in TV and radio commercials looks like it’s been written by a pro-Voice campaigner.
Even the normally squeaky clean Australian Electoral Commission stands accused of underhanded bastardry in pushing the race-based referendum under the guise of lifting Indigenous participation in the electoral process.
Right now, the AEC is pushing ads that are meant to lift Indigenous representation on the electoral roll, however critics say the ads are a pro-yes vote in disguise.
“Australians are calling into question the independence of the AEC,” Nationals senator Matt Canavan said. “The AEC has to be beyond reproach … they have made a massive error here and they should pull this ad immediately.”
The AEC’s use of the slogan “Our Vote, Our Future” has also come under fire for being too close to the messaging pushed by the “yes” campaign. Support for the race based referendum is dropping, according to a number of recent polls, and it’s clear that many pro-Voice advocates are becoming increasingly nervous.
1/ Linda Burney promised ‘neutral civics information’. Picture: Martin Ollman