Comedian Rove McManus has sparked backlash after making an impassioned plea for Australians to be “decent for once” and vote Yes in the referendum.
“She said, ‘I can‘t believe anyone would vote no to this’, and that’s what breaks my heart,” he said.
“What are we doing to ourselves? This is a real moment where we can be proud and show what a wonderful country this is.”
It seems that his comments have proven divisive, with the No camp lashing out at the comedian, taking particular issue with his call to be “decent”.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson labelled the rant a “last ditch effort to bully voters”.
“You would think the Yes campaign would have learned by now, Aussies are sick of celebrity bullies and tomorrow they will head to the polls to Vote No to their Voice of Division,” she wrote on X.
“Rove” McManus telling us to ‘be decent for once’ showing his contempt for ordinary Australians who he clearly believes to be indecent. Oh and Rove, citing your 9 year old child is crass emotional nonsense,” another person said.
Others slammed his comments as “demeaning”, “insulting” and “desperate”.
However, there were those who backed McManus’ stance, with one person saying they had a “new respect” for him following his spiel.
“Well said, Rove! I teach politically savvy teenagers- they get it. They know it’s a simple advisory body which will help to close the gap,” another person said.
In his comments, the triple Gold Logie award winner also addressed those who criticised the Voice for not going far enough to address the problems facing Indigenous Australians, saying that “in many ways, of course it doesn’t”.
“You can‘t just drop in at the top of Mount Everest, you’ve got to climb slowly and this is the only way you can do it,” he said.
He urged Australians to think about how they wanted to vote and to “just be decent for once” in order to bring change to First Nations people.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also issued a plea to voters on Friday, telling Australians it will cost them nothing to “show kindness” when they enter the polling booth.
“This week of all weeks, where we see such trauma in the world, there is nothing, no cost to Australians in showing kindness with their heart as well as their head when they enter the polling booth tomorrow and voting Yes,” he said.
“Because, my goodness, kindness costs nothing. Thinking of others cost nothing.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton told Nine Network that he is hoping for a No vote outcome, claiming the proposition “hasn’t been properly explained”.
“It’s divisive, it’s permanent once it goes into the Constitution, and I just don’t think in their millions Australians are going to support it,” he said.
“It won’t be a message of rejection to Indigenous Australians, quite the opposite. We want practical outcomes for people in Indigenous communities.”