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cover art for The second (and possibly last) Annual Democracy Sausage Awards

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny

The second (and possibly last) Annual Democracy Sausage Awards

As the curtain comes down on Democracy Sausage for another year, Frank Bongiorno, Chris Wallace, Marija Taflaga and Mark Kenny look back at the best and worst of 2021.


Who performed this year’s most flagrant and self-interested political backflip? Who has been the most effective political leader? And what do Scott Morrison and the Beatles have in common? On the final episode of Democracy Sausage for 2021, we roll out the red carpet and give out the gongs for the best and worst in politics of 2021.


Frank Bongiorno AM is an Australian labour, political, and cultural historian and Professor of History at ANU.


Chris Wallace is Associate Professor at the University of Canberra and author of How To Win An Election.


Marija Taflaga is the Director of ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a Lecturer in the ANU School of Politics and International Relations.


Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Canberra Times.


Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to podcast@policyforum.net. You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.


This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

More episodes

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  • Shaking up the race

    50:30
    US experts Emma Shortis and John Hart, along with historian Frank Bongiorno join Democracy Sausage to talk Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the changes in the US election race.Biden has backed out of the presidential race, should he have withdrawn earlier? How will likely democratic candidate Kamala Harris change the campaign, the media narratives around Trump and the outcome of the election? And what will this change mean for Australia?  On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Professor Mark Kenny talks to Dr Emma Shortis, Emeritus Professor John Hart and Professor Frank Bongiorno about the US election.   Emma Shortis is Senior Researcher in the International & Security Affairs Program at The Australia Institute. Her research focuses on the history and politics of the United States and its role in the world. She is the author of Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States.  John Hart is a member of the ANU Emeritus Faculty and a former Head of the Department of Political Science. Dr Hart is a specialist in the government and politics of the USA, with a particular research interest in the American presidency and the US electoral process. He is the author of The Presidential Branch: From Washington to Clinton.  Frank Bongiorno is a Professor at the ANU School of History. He is President of the Australian Historical Association and the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Whitlam Institute Distinguished Fellow at Western Sydney University.   Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • Matters of political survival

    44:15
    Bruce Wolpe joins us to discuss the Trump assassination attempt, questions about Biden’s leadership and the state of democracy. How will this weekend’s assassination attempt on Trump impact his popularity? Is it game over?  With four weeks until the Democratic convention, who do party insiders think is best posed to stop Trump returning to the office, and is it still Biden?  And what does this all mean for the health of democracy worldwide?  On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Bruce Wolpe joins Professor Mark Kenny to go over the current state of the US election and what it means for democracy. Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He worked with the Democrats in the US Congress during President Barack Obama’s first term, was a senior advisor for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and the author of Trump’s Australia.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • A question of recognition

    48:47
    Leading international law expert Donald Rothwell joins Democracy Sausage to talk Palestinian statehood, Senator Payman’s resignation from Labor and the moral dimensions of politics. What are the formal and political processes Australia would need to undertake to recognise Palestinian statehood? How would recognition impact Israel’s obligations under international law? And should Labor’s caucus rules on party solidarity be a thing of the past?  On this episode of Democracy Sausage Professor Donald Rothwell joins Professor Mark Kenny and Dr Marija Taflaga to discuss the politics of statehood. Donald Rothwell is Professor of International Law at the ANU College of Law. He is a specialist in Australia’s practice in international law, including recognition of States, the International Court of Justice, and the law of the sea Marija Taflaga is the Director of the ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a Lecturer at the ANU School of Politics and International Relations.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • UK election D-Day

    46:07
    Political strategist John McTernan and Atalanta’s Elizabeth Ames join us to talk about the UK election trail – betting scandals, campaign gaffes and all. What is the mood on the ground in Britain? What are the political narratives influencing the upcoming UK election? And with Labour predicted for a landslide win, what are the perils of a decisive victory? On this episode of Democracy Sausage, political strategist John McTernan and Atalanta’s Elizabeth Ames cut through the spin to unpack Britain’s election. John McTernan is a political strategist and commentator. He has been a political adviser to former UK prime minister Tony Blair and former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.  Elizabeth Ames is Chief Executive Officer at advocacy firm Atalanta, Board Director of the Britain-Australia Society, and Chair of the Menzies Australia Institute at King’s College London.     Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • Crises going nuclear

    53:56
    Security expert John Blaxland and physicist Ken Baldwin join us to discuss Dutton’s nuclear plans, politicised debates and poly-crisis. Is it possible to decarbonise through nuclear energy? Does the debate around these complex issues indicate a failure in public discourse? And what does this say about our ability to govern and manage a ‘poly-crisis’?  On this episode of Democracy Sausage, John Blaxland and Ken Baldwin join Mark Kenny to discuss crises everywhere, all at once — from energy transition to governance and security.  John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies in the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and the Director of the ANU North American Liaison Office. His recent report for the RSL Defence and National Security Committee is Adapting to Poly-Crisis: A Proposed Australian National Security Strategy.  Ken Baldwin is a physicist in the Research School of Physics, the founding Director of the ANU Grand Challenge: Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific (2018-2021), and the inaugural Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute (2010-2020, now incorporated into ICEDS).  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • America’s war with itself

    51:07
    Journalist and correspondent Nick Bryant joins Mark Kenny to discuss division in the United States of America. What was it like to be in Washington DC after the 6 January insurrection? How did we misinterpret Trump’s narrative? And what are the roots of the conspiracies, division and polarisation that we see in the United States today? On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Nick Bryant joins Professor Mark Kenny to discuss our misunderstanding of America’s democracy and how it’s resulted in figures like Donald Trump.Nick Bryant is an author, journalist and foreign correspondent. He has been a BBC correspondent posted in South Asia, Australia and America during the Trump years. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Monthly and The New Statesman. His most recent book is The Forever War: America’s Unending Conflict with Itself.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • The world of the pre-citizen

    32:40
    Legal and youth justice expert Faith Gordon joins Mark Kenny to discuss young people, social media and democracy.What should the age of criminal responsibility be? With younger generations becoming more politically engaged, should the voting age be lowered? And how can we make social media safe for young people, without causing civic disengagement?  On this episode of Democracy Sausage Associate Professor Faith Gordon joins Professor Mark Kenny to talk about youth engagement, social media and democracy. Faith Gordon is an Associate Professor and Deputy Associate Dean of Research at the ANU College of Law. She is the Director of the Interdisciplinary International Youth Justice Network, and a co-founder and co-moderator of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology’s Thematic Group on children, young people and the criminal justice system.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • The state and democracy

    54:22
    This week we are getting back to the building blocks of politics and democracy with philosopher Philip Pettit.How did states form and are they inevitable? Has globalisation changed our perception of states? And how do different approaches to democracy influence their politics?This week on Democracy Sausage, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Philip Pettit, joins Professor Mark Kenny. Philip Pettit is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the School of Philosophy at the ANU and the L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University. 
  • Anthony Albanese on two years in the top job

    44:29
    Join us for a bonus barbecue, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks with Mark Kenny about his first two years in the top job.What’s it really like being Prime Minister of Australia? What lessons did the PM take from the Voice campaign, his recent budget and other key policy agendas? And how can we improve the often partisan state of political discourse in this country? On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Anthony Albanese joins Professor Mark Kenny to look back on two years as Australia's leader.  The Hon Anthony Albanese MP is the 31st and current Prime Minister of Australia.  Mark Kenny is the Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.  Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  This podcast is produced by The Australian National University.