This is a sample of The Echidna newsletter sent out each weekday morning. To sign up for FREE, go to theechidna.com.au Let me be clear, just to head off the lynch mob: I will probably vote "yes". I will probably do so because of the terrible signal a "no" vote would send, both to Indigenous Australians and to people around the world about Australia. But I can see why decent people might vote the other way. Some might be motivated by racism - and some might just think it's a bad idea. But the debate has become so toxic that rational discussion has gone out of the window. We are back in the polarised world where one side shouts at the other from inside its bunker. It is very sad - and very destructive. Neither side is without blame. There is clearly a lot of misinformation coming from the "no" camp, if not from the official camp, then from the falsehoods swirling around in the cesspit of social media. And I blame the "yes" camp too. The tone of its campaign has been off key. It has relied on creating a mood, a vibe, if you like. Its idea seemed to have been that enthusiasm for doing the right thing would be infectious enough to sweep people towards a "yes" vote. The glossy adverts use the John Farnham song You're the Voice - a protest song in 1986, no doubt, but now a nice bit of easy listening for nice middle-class boomers: the very people who didn't need convincing. People mistrust blank cheques. They are understandably wary of agreeing to something on the basis that "their betters" will then decide on what shape that something should be (even though that is what happens in any election). But the shape of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament is undefined by design. As the government itself puts it: "After the referendum, there will be a process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Parliament and the broader public to settle the Voice design." There are lessons from Brexit Britain and Trumpian America in all of this. If you patronise people - people without degrees, people working hard with their hands, people who wear boots not made by Prada to work, people who have to count the cents - you risk alienating them. The dismissal of people who intend to vote "no" as bigots and ignoramuses is dangerous. Some of them may be but some of them are not. Hillary Clinton did call some Trump voters "deplorables", though the full context shows she was being more nuanced. But (nuance-shmuance) the word was used against her to great effect - and the result, as we know, was the disaster of Trump. If nice white people in trendy areas of cities like New York or San Francisco (or Sydney or Melbourne or Canberra) continually give the impression that they see ordinary working people who don't agree with them as the great unwashed, those despised people will vote for Trump or Brexit - or "no". HAVE YOUR SAY: Has the "yes" team botched the campaign? Should there be more detail of the Voice now, or should it be worked out later? Do you see links between the "yes"-"no" divide in Australia, and Trump and Brexit overseas? Email your response to email@example.com. SHARE THE LOVE: If you enjoy The Echidna, forward it to a friend so they can sign up, too. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: - Donald Trump and his family business have been found liable for fraud by a New York judge. The judge agreed that he had inflated the value of his assets, and that meant it was easier to get loans. It is a blow against him but not a fatal one. - Australia's inflation rate increased. The Australian Bureau of Statistics consumer price index for August came in at an annual rate of 5.2 per cent, up from 4.9 per cent in July. - Women will have easier access to the pill in NSW and those with common skin conditions could be next as the state considers expanding pharmacy prescription trials. Under the change, women will be able to obtain a prescription for a 12-month resupply of the oral contraceptive from their pharmacist without having to see a doctor, except if it is the first time they have taken the medication. - War crime investigators will not see evidence from Ben Roberts-Smith's defamation trial that could lead to the contamination of their probe, a judge has been told. The Federal Court let the Office of the Special Investigator view a wide range of transcripts and evidence from the lengthy and hotly contested defamation proceedings. THEY SAID IT: "You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They're racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic - you name it," Hillary Clinton. But followed by: "but that 'other' basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures; and they're just desperate for change." YOU SAID IT: I offered some guidance on what makes a sincere apology in contrast to a non-apology apology. Donald responded: "Regardless of any other criticism that might have been heaped on him, Kevin Rudd offered the perfect example of a genuine and heartfelt 'Sorry'. His sincerity and his depth of emotion could never be in doubt. More than a previous PM could manage, it remains surely a touchstone for us all." Arthur said: "To be of any consequence an apology must be accepted. The offended party must then forgive the offender, otherwise the whole event is nothing but meaningless words." Susan said: "Spot on comments. 'Sorry' has become one of those neutral, fill the gap words, essentially meaningless. It doesn't represent an apology, or admission of an error or inappropriate comment or behaviour. It has little to do with acceptance of responsibility or any intention of not repeating the incident. It is like the teenager's 'My bad!' said with a grin on his/her face."