Fact Check: The Cognitive Dissonance in the Voice Referendum Debate

There has been a significant amount of cognitive dissonance displayed by some individuals in the “No” campaign during the Voice referendum debate. While the core fact remains that the debate has uncovered conflicting beliefs and actions, the original quotes have been replaced with a descriptive sentence to provide a fresh perspective.

Garigarra Riley-Mundine, the daughter of prominent “No” campaigner Warren Mundine, expressed her sadness and disappointment in her father’s actions. She highlighted the contradiction between his beliefs and his claim that the Uluru statement, which advocates for Indigenous representation through a Voice to Parliament, was a “symbolic declaration of war.” Riley-Mundine believes that the Uluru statement came from a place of unity and that Indigenous Australians are simply asking for a Voice.

The article questions why Mundine tolerates and even enables racist jokes and tweets, despite being a long-time Indigenous advocate. It suggests that there is cognitive dissonance at play when one claims to want the best for Indigenous Australians while simultaneously allowing racist falsehoods to be spread in order to defeat the proposal.

The cognitive dissonance is not limited to Mundine alone. Many supposedly moderate Liberals have been making untrue statements about the Voice campaign, despite knowing the truth. Leaders within the party, such as Simon Birmingham and Paul Fletcher, find themselves echoing disingenuous claims about divisiveness and ignoring the views of Indigenous Australians.

This cognitive dissonance displayed by some individuals in the “No” campaign poses a threat to public trust. It perpetuates misinformation and may have long-term consequences for our body politic. It is important to address these dissonances and foster genuine understanding and empathy to ensure a fair and inclusive society for all Australians.


Q: What is cognitive dissonance?
A: Cognitive dissonance refers to the mental discomfort that arises when an individual holds conflicting beliefs, values, or behaviors.

Q: What is the Voice referendum debate about?
A: The Voice referendum debate revolves around the proposal for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which aims to provide Indigenous Australians with a platform for consultation and decision-making on issues that affect them.

Q: Why is cognitive dissonance a concern in the Voice referendum debate?
A: Cognitive dissonance within the debate raises questions about the sincerity and consistency of the arguments put forth by individuals. It can also hinder productive and respectful dialogue, contributing to misinformation and divisiveness.

Q: What are the potential consequences of cognitive dissonance in the debate?
A: The cognitive dissonance displayed by individuals in the “No” campaign risks damaging public trust and perpetuating inaccurate information. It may also hinder progress towards a fair and inclusive society.