Top five episodes of Democracy Sausage in 2020

17 January 2021

Throw on a novelty apron, clack your tongs together, and feast on the most popular episodes of Democracy Sausage in 2020.

It’s barbecue season, and if you’re not running low on tomato sauce, the Policy Forum team has a few prime cuts of podcasting meat to throw on your holiday hotplate. To kick off the year, we’re bringing you our most popular podcast episodes of 2020, and first on the menu is the year’s top five episodes of Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny.

The pod covered enormous ground across 94 episodes in 2020, from Australian politics to the United States election, and from the COVID-19 pandemic to Brexit. With another big year of politics and public affairs ahead, we hope this countdown of your favourite shows is just what you need to whet your appetite for all the Democracy Sausage to come in 2021. 

5. Leadership in the time of COVID-19 with Niki Savva

What does it take to be a political leader? What’s the magic mix of talent and time? And do Australia’s treasurer and shadow treasurer have that mix? Commentator Niki Savva and political scientist Marija Taflaga joined host Mark Kenny to discuss what it takes to do the top job on our fifth most popular episode of the year. Listen here.

4. China’s rise – is history repeating? 

In launching Australia’s new Defence Strategy Update, Prime Minister Scott Morrison drew parallels between the strategic and economic threat Australia currently faces with that faced by the world in the 1930s and 40s. While China’s growing assertiveness is not the only cause of this uncertainty, it is likely front of mind for many in the Australian government. On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Mark Kenny is joined by former long-time public servant Allan Behm to discuss community values in the COVID-19 crisis, the “serious vacancies in leadership” around the world, and learning the lessons of history to understand China’s behaviour. Listen here.

3. Scott Morrison and pandemic politics with Katharine Murphy

What has the COVID-19 crisis revealed about Australia’s prime minister? This is what we discussed on this year’s third most popular episode, featuring Guardian Australia’s political editor Katharine Murphy. Recorded in September, Mark talked to Katharine about Scott Morrison, pandemic politics, and her new Quarterly Essay, The end of certainty, as part of the Canberra Times/ANU Meet the Author series. Listen here.

2. Is Trump cooked?

In August, an interview between Donald Trump and US-based journalist Jonathan Swan went viral. Days later, Mark Kenny chatted to another stateside Aussie journalist, Matthew Knott, about the interview and Trump’s re-election prospects in what became our second most popular episode for the year. With Trump’s numerous legal challenges to the election result and his claims about voting fraud, Mark and Matthew’s discussion about whether the United States needs an independent, non-partisan federal electoral service like the Australian Electoral Commission to sure-up its famous democracy remains highly relevant even after the election. Listen here.

1. Annabel Crabb on Australia’s moment of change

In March this year, Australia established the National Cabinet composed of the prime minister and state and territory leaders in order to better respond to the coronavirus crisis. By July, when we recorded this, the success of the Cabinet had shown politicians the value Australians place on cooperation. In our most popular episode of the year, Mark Kenny spoke with Annabel Crabb of the ABC to talk about how the country and its politics have changed as a result of the crisis, and whether Morrison can turn his political capital into substantial, lasting policy reform. Listen here.

What issues would you like to see covered on Democracy Sausage in 2021? Leave us a comment below or share your thoughts via Twitter.

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