26 September 2023

Still confused about how you'll vote in the Voice referendum? We're here to help

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Australian flag, Australian Aboriginal Flag, Torres Strait Islander flag.

Australians have enrolled in record numbers for the Voice referendum. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

How will you vote in the Voice referendum on 14 October?

It’s just over two weeks until the Voice referendum and the outcome is still very uncertain. Polls are pointing to a win for the No case – but polls have been wrong before, while the Yes campaign faces accusations it’s failed to connect with ordinary Australians.

There’s also a substantial number of people – as high as 29 per cent by some counts – who are undecided. The Australian Electoral Commission says enrolment rates are sky-high and would be the envy of many a democracy, currently sitting at a record 97.7 per cent.

This week, Region will hold a Voice debate with representatives from both sides. We’ve avoided current politicians and tried to assemble people who bring expertise and diverse viewpoints to the table.

We’re aiming for a robust, informative and thoughtful conversation, not a shouting match, on the basis this is the kind of discussion you should be able to have at the kitchen table or over a beer with mates.

Speaking for the Yes case, former chief minister and leader of the national Liberals for Yes campaign, Kate Carnell, will be joined by Ngunnawal traditional owner and activist Aunty Violet Sheridan.

Local No campaign leader and Belco Party founder Bill Stefaniak will be joined by software engineer and campaigner Ramon Bouckaert. It will be a tight half hour or so, facilitated and filmed by Region, and we want to hear from you.

READ ALSO Record enrolment numbers for Voice referendum

What would you like explained, discussed or clarified by either side of the debate? What concerns you about a Yes or No vote, the implications for the country, and the reasons why people are choosing to vote one way or the other?

Put your questions in the comments field. While we won’t get to every one individually, they’ll help to guide our thinking and ensure we can represent a diversity of views.

Unlike an election, a referendum is a single question for the Australian people – a Yes or No vote.

The difference is in how the votes are counted: for a referendum to succeed, it must have a majority of votes in a majority of states.

Irritatingly for Canberra and Northern Territory voters, our jurisdiction won’t be counted in the tally of states, although our votes will count in the national poll.

There’s every indication that the ACT will be a strong Yes vote – much like the same-sex marriage plebiscite – but No campaigners also have an argument to make about our constitution and the function of Parliament.

So how will you make up your mind? Tell us what you need to know and we’ll do our best to inform you with local, independent and well-respected voices.

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This has been completely divisive with no detail as to how it will operate. All we’ve been fed is warm and fuzzy propaganda from Burney and Albanese along with insults from Langdon, Pearson and Davis if anyone dares to oppose their opinion. Notice how Burney and Langdon have been very quiet the last few weeks. Hmm I wonder why. Then there are the contradictory statements from Albanese in most interviews, his inability to articulate the exact detail along with his inability to read the Uluru statement in full but wants us to “trust him” as it’s a “minor request”. Then Mayos rant about rent and reparation. Not a chance mate. You’ve lied enough to the public. It’s very simple. Vote NO.

Max_Rockatansky8:41 am 28 Sep 23

Look at other places or times when people were classified unequally, when one group considered themselves superior to the other group, then treated the other group appallingly. This is why Australians believe all people are equal in the eyes of God, and why Australians hold the core principle that all people are equal in the eyes of the Constitution. Why does the yes campaign want make Australians unequal in the Constitution?

Question: Given organisations such as NIAA and Coalition of Peaks as well as many other local and state groups already exist for the stated purpose of consulting with the Aboriginal people and “closing the gap” Why do you believe that this implementation will be any different? and if you do believe so, can you please explain the mechanism by which it will differ to the many other times this has been attempted over the decades?

GrumpyGrandpa8:14 pm 27 Sep 23

Referendums seek to alter the nation’s Constitution. Wouldn’t it be prudent to always vote No, unless there was bipartisan support from our Parliament?

Rob McGuigan5:57 pm 27 Sep 23

Really…up to 29% are still undecided?
Every Poll I have seen states under 10% are still undecided. The vast majority of the previous and wrong figure you have stated may have applied a month ago but the current undecided vote is definitely around 8-9%. Further most of of your decrepant 20% to make up your 29% have obviously decided to vote NO. The only face-saving thing the ALP should do is withdraw this devisive referendum before the 14th of October.

Yes, there’s quite a bit of poll “denialism” and
misinformation going on from the yes side, clutching at straws.

There are numerous poll agencies running separate polls and they all say the same thing. If these polls were wrong enough to change the result it would be the biggest polling failure in history.


it’s failed to connect with ordinary Australians
Oh to be an extraordinary Australian!
A question: Why does the YES campaign continue to use National Life Expectancy Gap statistics that include people living in Toorak, Red Hill and Vaucluse with the residents of Oodnadatta when the Productivity Commission in its most recent Interim The Gap Report states that The Gap statistics are only relevant when specific location is taken into account and that living remotely makes for 20% of The Health Gap?

Rob McGuigan6:01 pm 27 Sep 23

The key factor in this story Mick is where the author stands on the referendum question. I would suggest I am right in saying he supports the YES vote? Quoting the undecided vote as still being high 20’s is a little misleading. It’s actually under 10%.

Where can we get more information on where to watch this debate. As one of the 29% I feel unsure about what voting yes is agreeing to and what voting no is blocking. I am trying to educate myself on both sides of the argument to make an informed decision on how to vote.
That being said, most people I’ve spoken to who are unsure have no issues with ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are in the constitution but are concerned about the details of the voice and what this means for a future for everyone. Help understanding that as part of the debate would be great.

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