Right-leaning activist group Advance Australia has said that the Yes campaign’s video advert persuading users to vote in favour of the Voice to Parliament is “misleading.”
In a letter to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), Advance Australia took umbrage with Yes23’s omission of “any reference to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to Parliament.
“The bill currently before the parliament which will form the referendum question and ultimately, if approved by the voters, change the Constitution is called Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023,” said the letter written by Advance Australia’s executive director Matthew Sheahan.
“Yet the Yes23 ad does not mention the voice: an inseparable component of the referendum as articulated, so integral that it is the title of the bill.
“Recognition is inseparable from the voice. In our view, it follows that Yes23 may be intentionally misleading the Australian public on the nature of the referendum to omit that important fact.”
In the letter, seen by The Australian, Shehan said that the ad was misleading as “there is no guarantee what a future voice will make representations on and how the parliament of the day will respond.”
“To tell the Australian people in this ad that the referendum provides a ‘real say’ improperly implies the parliament does not have the power to regulate the voice and further misleads voters,” he added.
The AEC said that it would respond to Advance’s Australia’s concerns “in due course.”
A spokesman for Yes23 said that it welcomed Advance Australia for “drawing attention” to its campaign.
This follows reports that the various No campaigns are underperforming on social media compared to the Yes campaigns.