Channel Seven star reveals he’s REFUSING to vote in the upcoming Voice referendum after claiming ‘thousands of Yes marchers walked right past’ homeless Indigenous man in Melbourne
Around 30,000 campaigners descended upon Melbourne’s CBD on Sunday afternoon to urge Australians to vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum.
‘Fascinating to see an Indigenous homeless man outside Flinders Street Station this afternoon as hundreds – maybe thousands – of YES marchers walk right past him,’ the showbiz reporter wrote.
‘Nobody stopped to acknowledge him. Nobody gave him anything. Maybe it happened outside the 20 minutes I was watching,’ he added.
His message was met with furious backlash from users who accused him of being hypocritical for ‘standing and watching’ rather than helping the Indigenous man himself.
Ford rejected this accusation, pointing out that he – unlike the Yes campaigners – was not ‘marching, holding signs pretending to care’.
Ford also revealed that he won’t be voting at all during the referendum, even though voting is compulsory in all federal elections in Australia.
‘So your plan is to vote no and leave things the way they are?’ one user asked, to which Ford responded: ‘I’m not voting’.
Not voting without a ‘valid and sufficient reason’ at a referendum is an offence and can result in a fine.
However there is no law prohibiting a voter from leaving their ballot paper blank at the voting booth.
Ford later deleted his initial post after being inundated by angry messages.
‘Deleted earlier tweet only because I’m not in the mood for abuse on a lovely Sunday arvo. Sure hit a nerve!’ he began.
‘People clearly unfamiliar with Melbourne CBD and how many homeless people you sight on every block you walk. It was my observation. You don’t like it – that’s totally OK,’ Ford concluded.
Voting for the Voice to Parliament referendum will take place on Saturday, 14 October 2023
The question presented to Australians will be: ‘A proposed law: to alter the constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has repeatedly said the Voice will be an advisory body to Parliament that will allow First Nations people to be involved in a discussion about the laws which affect them and about what is needed in their communities.
Despite dwindling support in the polls, the Yes campaign is still confident it can secure a win, relying on ‘soft’ No voters and Australians who are yet to engage with the debate at all.
For the referendum to be successful, the majority of Australians in the majority of states must vote Yes.
Support for the Yes case has fallen from more than 60 per cent to 40 per cent or even below, partly on the back of comments made by those behind the Voice to Parliament and the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
The most recent Resolve Political Monitor survey showed 43 per cent of voters supported a plan to enshrine the Voice into the Constitution, down 20 percentage points from a year ago.