Polling shows that nine in 10 Australians want political advertising laws improved by the next federal election, an exit poll conducted by The Australia Institute has shown.
In what looks to be an aftermath of the frankly vicious “vote no” campaign, Australians actually seem united in the belief that truth in political advertising laws need to be swiftly implemented. What’s more, both those who voted “yes” and “no” to The Voice referendum seem to support it.
Further, the exit poll also saw that seven in 10 Australians agree that they are concerned about lies and misinformation that circulated on social media during the referendum campaign.
“Misinformation and disinformation swamped the referendum campaign with arguments that often had little to do with what Australians were being asked to vote on,” said Executive Director of the Australia Institute Richard Denniss.
“In Australia, it is perfectly legal to lie in a political ad – and it shouldn’t be.”
Denniss went on to call the problem “systemic”, saying Australia “cannot afford” another election with misleading ads.
“There is talk of the major parties voting together to increase the public funding they get – but there should be no increase in public funding while that money can be used to fund lies and untruths.”
Will the politicians agree and change advertising laws? Well, it’s over to the Albanese government and with the next federal election to be held in 2025 there’s still plenty of time to get it done. So for now, it simply remains a question of willpower.