Conflict of interest

The government say they have no intention of funding the YES and NO case of any referendum until after the next federal election for the House of Representatives. They will not fund the YES/NO pamphlet and will outsource all advertising and “educational” media to marketing companies instead of having it produced through the impartial AEC.

The government clearly supports the YES case, it will pour tens of millions of dollars into marketing for the referendum, but it refuses to even accept there is a NO case or fund the NO case with even a cent of funding.

The government is legislating for a clear conflict of interest. It is not a perception of a conflict of interest it is a real conflict of interest. By bypassing the traditional methods used to post out the YES/NO pamphlet the government is risking to delegitimise the referendum and invalidate the vote. It also risks an unregulated NO campaign that could be exploited by racists and extremists in Australia and the USA.

What do you think? Is the proposal to disapply section 11 of the Referendum Machinery Act 1984 worth it?

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