An American YouTuber has filmed his real-time reaction to learning about the proposed Voice to Parliament for the very first time.
And his initial thoughts are ones that many undecided voters here might be able to relate to.
Ryan Was has amassed more than 54,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel where he “reacts, tries and commentates on Australian stuff” every other day.
One of his latest instalments sees him learn about the looming Voice referendum via a 9 News explainer fronted by political correspondent Fiona Willan.
In it, Willan gives an overview of the basics of the Voice issue.
“Hopefully they explain it dumb enough for an American to understand,” Ryan says as the clip began.
It’s not long until he’s totally confused.
“As a stupid American, I’m still slightly confused. Everyone’s talking pretty vaguely. What does it mean? What does it mean? What is the Voice?”
He initially compares the explanation of the Voice as an advisory body offering viewpoints on key issues as being similar to the notion of “lobbyists in America”.
“So, it’s like here in America, those are called lobbyists and they’re paid by big corporations. We don’t get to vote on who does that.”
But on listening further, he concludes that the design of the Voice “seems harmless”.
“I’m surprised this is controversial. They don’t have any actual voting power. They’re there to advise, right? I’m surprised lots of people aren’t saying: ‘That’s not enough. That’s just a compromise.’”
Elsewhere in the video, Ryan gets a giggle over a snippet of Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash speaking at a No campaign rally, where she chants: “If you don’t know, vote no.”
He notes that both the Yes and No camp seem to be essentially saying the same thing.
“Both sides are saying the same thing – ‘Vote yes to unite us’ and ‘Vote no to not divide us’.”
He is almost endlessly baffled about why a Constitutional change is needed, and why a body like the Voice hasn’t been tested first.
“I thought it would be an even stronger amendment to the Constitution, like their own branch, some kind of special elected leader. This is just an advisory panel.”
And he is amazed by Australia’s policy of compulsory voting.
At the end of it, Ryan seems convinced of the likelihood of success of the Voice, saying: “I’m going to call it right now. This is going to go through. That’s my instinct.”
Successive opinion polls indicate his instinct is off, with support for the Voice plummeting. The referendum is on track to fail.
“I’m not going to sit over here and tell you what you should do. I’m not even Australian. But off the bat, I’d say yes. Why not? Try it out. Give ‘em the committee.”
The clip has so far amassed 12,000 views. It is the latest example of the referendum gaining international attention.
After being firmly a local issue for the past year, the world’s media has recently turned its attention to the vote and the significance of the outcome, win or lose.
The New York Times described it as potentially being “Australia’s Brexit moment” while The Economist declared “Australians look set to reject new provisions for Aboriginal people”.
A correspondent for CNN filed an in-depth feature from the Indigenous community of Cherbourg in Queensland, where she spoke with Wakka Wakka locals and Elders to get their perspectives.
“An Australian community built on racial segregation looks to the future, with or without a Voice,” the headline of the piece reads.
Meanwhile, a recent piece for the BBC’s website reports that “lies fuel racism ahead of Australia’s Indigenous vote” and a Financial Times piece concludes that the debate has divided the country.