20 July 2021

Probing the polls: Seselja's choice and arming yourself against COVID-19

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Arm Yourself promotional poster

The Arm Yourself campaign has been criticised for lack of clear messaging. Image: Department of Health.

While the ACT has consistently elected one Liberal senator to the big house on the hill since self-government, the overwhelming majority of voters in our weekly poll are not happy with how Senator Zed Seselja currently represents our interests on territory rights.

Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon had proposed a private members’ bill that would have allowed the two territories to legislate on voluntary assisted dying. But Senator Seselja indicated he would not support the bill, prompting a storm of commentary from voters who believe he should represent the majority’s wishes.

“I reckon Zed will ask for a referendum on assisted dying saying this is a decision for the people and he will pledge to support the result … then at the last minute, well, you know …,” said Mark Monterossa.

Frank Trapani wrote: “Senator Seselja may have a different stand on euthanasia and he is entitled to his own beliefs. But this is not a one-person decision or even a political or religious beliefs [decision]. This is a democratic vote for the rights of elderly people who want to go to a better place in their own way.”

READ ALSO Why isn’t the ACT allowed to make our own laws about euthanasia?

We asked, Should Zed Seselja vote according to his own judgement or the will of the ACT voters? A total of 1617 readers voted.

Your options were to vote He’s elected to represent the wishes of the ACT community. This attracted one of the highest votes our polls have ever recorded, 92 per cent of the total or 1,483 votes. Alternatively, you could have voted He’s elected to use his judgement, not make a populist call. This attracted just 8 per cent of the total, or 134 votes.

This week, we’re wondering whether you think the new COVID-19 vaccination advertising is effective.

The Arm Yourself campaign – which urges Australians to “arm yourself”, “your family”, “your friends”, “your workmates”, “your community” – follows concerns from public health experts that the existing community messaging was lacklustre.

The campaign will be released on social media, billboards, television, print and radio, and aims to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

READ ALSO Is the new COVID-19 ad campaign hitting the mark?

But marketing experts say the campaign may have already missed the mark.

Dr Andrew Hughes from the School of Business and Economics at the ANU says the Arm Yourself campaign fails to address the reality that people are highly motivated about vaccination but confused about what category they fit into, which vaccine to get and where they can access the jab.

“People are crying out for information,” he said. “It’s not that the ads themselves aren’t working. Without clear messaging, the whole campaign is not working.”

This week, we’re asking:

Do you think the government’s COVID-19 information campaign has been effective?

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I’m NOT confused about where to get vaccinated. We – in our 70s – were done twice by 02/08/21!

Those 62% folks haven’t tried to type – vaccinations in ACT – into their desktop. So, they are lying about being ‘confused’. The ACT IS one of the smarter connurbations in Australia.

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