100 episodes

Michelle Grattan talks politics with politicians and experts, from Capital Hill.

Politics with Michelle Grattan The Conversation

    • News
    • 4.8 • 5 Ratings

Michelle Grattan talks politics with politicians and experts, from Capital Hill.

    Historian Frank Bongiorno reflects on elections present and past

    Historian Frank Bongiorno reflects on elections present and past

    Every election is unique, but each also presents comparisons and contrasts with elections past.

    In this podcast, Australian National University history professor Frank Bongiorno gives his insights into the current battle but also takes the long views of campaigns.

    Bongiorno talks about the role of leaders in what’s often dubbed the “presidential” election age (“a kind of proxy for judgements about policy”) and how Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are presenting themselves.

    The debate on wages and inflation has overtones of the arguments in the 1970s and 1980s, but “sort of minus the policy”.

    This was supposed to be a “khaki” election, but the khaki has faded during the campaign, perhaps unsurprisingly. Most often, Australians are solidly focused on domestic issues when they vote.

    The “teals” have been a special feature of this campaign. But are they a new version of other breakaways, like the Australian Democrats of old?

    The rise of voter disillusionment is a feature of recent elections, as is the detachment of voters from the major parties. Not so long ago, about seven in ten voters voted at each election the same way as they had voted throughout their lives, Bongiorno says, based on the ANU’s Australian Election Study. But now it is just under four in ten. “That means there’s a growing number of voters whose support is biddable, and the independents and minor parties are benefiting from that kind of loosening of the hold of the major parties over the voters.”

    • 29 min
    Five seats to watch on Saturday night, and getting the hang of a hung parliament

    Five seats to watch on Saturday night, and getting the hang of a hung parliament

    As well as her interviews with politicians and experts, Politics with Michelle Grattan includes “Word from The Hill”, where she discusses the news with members of The Conversation politics team.

    In this podcast Michelle and politics + society editor Amanda Dunn canvass the Coalition’s “super” housing pitch, five seats to eyeball on Saturday night, and what would happen if the parliamentary numbers were “hung”.

    • 9 min
    Politics with Michelle Grattan: Grattan Institute’s Danielle Wood on election’s thin policy debate

    Politics with Michelle Grattan: Grattan Institute’s Danielle Wood on election’s thin policy debate

    Danielle Wood is the CEO of the Grattan Institute, an independent think tank, Its purpose is to research and advocate policies to improve Australians’ lives.

    Wood laments the dearth of policy debate in this election.

    “There was a lot of optimism when we were coming out of COVID that this might be a period of genuine policy reform. It certainly was a period that laid bare a lot of challenges. We saw trust in government go up and there was a lot of talk of building back better in the sense that government might do some of those big things. But clearly, that’s not the election we’re in right now,” she says.

    “We are now in a world where we’ve come out of COVID with government much bigger than what we went in. So we’ve baked in this higher spending on aged care, higher spending on defence, a higher spending on the NDIS.




     



    "In fact, size of governments increase about 2% of GDP, which is pretty extraordinary. Yet we’ve had no conversation about how we pay for that.”

    Climate change is to the fore in the minds of many economists as well as voters, and a central feature of “teal” candidates’ campaigns. But the government and Labor are not talking about it a great deal in the campaign.

    “I think it’s really interesting to see economists so galvanised by that. We need to get on the path to net zero by 2050. Both major parties have signed on to that as a target. That is a massive economic transition. And frankly, if we don’t start making serious headway over the next decade, we’re going to leave ourselves with a very large and very disruptive task through the 2030s and forties.”

    Anthony Albanese this week found himself under attack after advocating a 5.1% rise (reflecting the latest inflation figure) in the minimum wage. Wood says: “Locking in very high wage rises right now is not the right answer. But that’s not to say that wages growing at 2% is a good answer either. So it’s somewhere in between.”

    Australia needs to increase productivity, but where should the focus be? “I would like to see a focus on education. There are things we can do in health as well, such as primary care reform, which could make a big difference […] And remember, that’s a big area in the economy and spending.”

    Should we be more worried than we are about Australia’s debt level? “I’m not worried about the current levels of debt in terms of sustainability. Obviously we’ve come out of COVID with much higher debt levels than we went in with. But based on at least the current interest profile, it’s very serviceable and sustainable.”

    • 23 min
    Scott Morrison defends Katherine Deves (again), but slips up on surgery detail

    Scott Morrison defends Katherine Deves (again), but slips up on surgery detail

    As well as her interviews with politicians and experts, Politics with Michelle Grattan includes “Word from The Hill”, where she discusses the news with members of The Conversation politics team.

    In this podcast Michelle and politics + society editor Amanda Dunn canvass how the interest rate rise has played against the government, Scott Morrison defending Katherine Deves (again), the major parties’ keeping the climate change issue low key, “gotcha” questions, and the coming Liberal launch.

    • 8 min
    Dave Sharma, Allegra Spender, and Kerryn Phelps on the contest for Wentworth

    Dave Sharma, Allegra Spender, and Kerryn Phelps on the contest for Wentworth

    In the Wentworth Project, sponsored by the University of Canberra’s Centre for Change Governance and The Conversation, we are tapping into voters’ opinions in this seat, which appears to be on a knife edge.

    In this podcast we talk with the two main candidates, Liberal incumbent Dave Sharma and “teal” independent Allegra Spender, as well as with Kerryn Phelps, the former independent member in the seat, who has mentored Spender and is on the advisory council of Climate 200, which is donating to her campaign.

    Sharma says “Kerryn Phelps was a genuine independent candidate or a more traditional independent candidate. […] This independent candidate is really sort of a franchise or party operation.”

    Sharma casts the teals, who are challenging Liberals in a range of city seats, as reflecting “populism as a political force”.

    “People think populism only belongs to the right because of Donald Trump. I think the independents are basically harnessing a populist mood, which is similar to what Donald Trump did, which is ‘a curse on all your houses.’”

    Morrison is not campaigning in the teal seats (though he goes to Wentworth to visit his mother). Asked how much the Prime Minister is a drag on the vote, Sharma stresses the team. “Scott Morrison is the leader of our team and the spokesperson for the team. But it’s also got a range of ministers in there who control different portfolios and we’re putting ourselves forward, and I certainly am here, as a team.”

    Spender says “there’s a feeling amongst the community that I hear, that they feel that the parties are looking after themselves first and the community after”.

    On a possible hung parliament, she says, “I would be willing to work with either party, or major party on supply and confidence, because I want stable government”. She would talk first to whichever side had the greatest number of seats.

    Wentworth is seeing enormous spending. Spender says her campaign will probably spend between $1.3 and $1.5 million (with something under 30% expected to come from Climate 200).

    She favours caps on spending and donations. “I’d like to see a cap in what individuals or companies can give. I’d like to see real time information in terms of what has been given. And then I think at the same time, you need to look at political advertising and how that is used because the government just spent $30 million spruiking their clean energy credentials […] immediately before the election being called.”

    Kerryn Phelps says of Wentworth: “I’ve had a medical practise in Double Bay for around two decades, and so I know the community well. It’s generally seen as an affluent community, but it’s actually quite diverse. There are clearly strong beliefs about the economy and business. And so a candidate would need to have business experience. But the people also have a very strong social conscience. They’re very environmentally aware. And I think that’s particularly highlighted by the fact that it’s bounded by the harbour and the ocean.”

    • 38 min
    On the rate rise, Albanese’s launch and what a Frydenberg loss would mean for the Liberals

    On the rate rise, Albanese’s launch and what a Frydenberg loss would mean for the Liberals

    As well as her interviews with politicians and experts, Politics with Michelle Grattan includes “Word from The Hill”, where she discusses the news with members of The Conversation politics team.

    In this podcast Michelle and politics + society editor Amanda Dunn canvass the Reserve Bank’s increase in interest rates, and which side wins or loses from it, as cost of living is centre stage in the election battle. They also discuss Anthony Albanese’s launch, and the implications for the Liberals if Josh Frydenberg were to lose in Kooyong.

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Top Podcasts In News

The New York Times
The Daily Wire
NPR
Cumulus Podcast Network | Dan Bongino
Crooked Media
Serial Productions

You Might Also Like

The Guardian
ABC Radio
Policy Forum
Network Ten
The Conversation
The Guardian

More by The Conversation

The Conversation
The Conversation
The Conversation
The Conversation
The Conversation
The Conversation