With the days counting down to October 14 and people already voting in their masses, we are in the Voice campaign stage where the Coalition leadership is doing its best to throw a daily hand grenade and see what it takes out. At least in the mainstream news coverage, the discussion is well into the "no" territory. It is exactly as the "no" camp wants it and it is not a place where we are debating the merits of the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Audits of Indigenous funding, accusing former Qantas boss Alan Joyce of being involved in Voice drafting and having Jacinta Nampijinpa Price as a future Coalition minister for Indigenous Australians where we will, according to Peter Dutton: "Get those better outcomes for Indigenous Australians." It does not matter if it is true or possible. Such is the nature of news coverage, conflict counts and rates. As one "yes" figure said recently the case for change is hard to sell "when you're dragged in the sandpit addressing lies". There's sand in everything. And social media. Such is the nature of those popular platforms, there are far fewer checks there for truth, balance and basic decency. Racial taunts, untruths and now neo-Nazis have unearthed themselves. Rightly, at the sight of a flag burning and a Nazi salute, all sides have come out to condemn the now very public threat to Senator Lidia Thorpe. The partisan, turbocharged nature of the Voice campaign is strangling the proposition. READ MORE: This is just as people are being found blissfully unaware of what the Voice is, and amazingly with such high rates of electoral enrolment, people with no idea they have to vote in this compulsory referendum. As Indigenous leaders stare down vile attacks and the real prospect of decades of work going down the toilet, it is our political leaders, out in the wild far from the pesky Canberra press gallery, selfishly playing out some sort of dry run for AusVotes 2025. In our famously egalitarian society, how are we being Trumpishly sucked into believing we have Aboriginal "elites"? Or elite anything? Easily, it seems. The "yes" side is firm in the belief one-on-one conversations can get the Voice over the line. All these notions need to be challenged and not everyone is tuned in all the time. It all seems a bit late with around 1 million votes already cast and a fair bit of ground to cover. Whatever the result, the 21st century, COVID-fuelled distrust of institutions and news media will have played a big part. Those voters looking for hope and "yes we can" have, in the main, not found it yet. But to the referendum's core question: Will we wake up on October 15 and realise we said no to a committee?