Ahead of this week’s 250th episode of Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny, we reheat six of the tastiest morsels since 2019 – consume at your own risk.

As Mark Kenny and Marija Taflaga prepare to fire up the podcast barbie for the 250th time, we’ve rummaged through the freezer and pulled out some choice snags from yesteryear. 

Not your run-of-the-mill factory bangers, mind you – these are some prime cuts from the flash section of the deli. 

We’ve got the sauce, so grab some bread, skip the onions and enjoy our favourite episodes from four years of the podcast.

A new political climate?

After a massive election loss in 2022, how will the Liberal Party recover – and will it do so by stepping to the left or the right? Is the ‘teal wave’ likely to be temporary, or will a more colourful electoral map become a permanent feature of Australian politics?  

The answers to some of those questions may have revealed themselves since the election, while others remain obscured. Days after the vote, Karen Middleton from The Saturday Paper and former News Limited editor Malcolm Farr joined Mark to discuss whether Australia was on the verge of a new political climate. 

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers on COVID-19 and Australia’s future 

Long before Labor’s 2022 election victory, and with the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic still unclear, the then-shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers joined Mark at the Democracy Sausage hotplate. 

In a revealing interview, the pair discussed how policymakers can lead an inclusive economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis and whether the constructive approach of governments, unions and industry could continue beyond the pandemic. 

The first (and possibly last) Annual Democracy Sausage Awards

It was the first, but luckily not the final edition of our annual Democracy Sausage Awards. For these inaugural accolades, historian and great friend of the pod Frank Bongiorno joined Mark and Marija to dust off the tuxedos and bring out the ballgowns. 

They presented deserving winners with the hard-earned prizes of biggest political backflip, most risible explanation for a government failure and maddest moment of 2020 – plus Mark made his own last-ditch play for worst dad joke in a podcast introduction. 

Tax, inequality, and social media campaigning

It’s early April 2019 and Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison have kicked off their campaigns. But it’s another beginning that’s our focus here – the birth of a new podcast. 

Like going through old photos on your phone, we’ve scrolled back to the very beginning of our barbecues to find the first ever episode of Democracy Sausage. In this throwback, Mark spoke with Bob McMullan, Shirley Leitch and Andrew Hughes about the campaign week in what was to become a ‘miracle’ election. 

AUKUS and the US alliance with Hugh White

Are nuclear-powered submarines the most cost-effective and strategically sound option for Australia? Is Australia paying for the Virginia-class submarines with a portion of its sovereignty as well as a very large sum of money? And is the Australian government basing its decision-making on flawed assumptions about the United States’ ongoing pre-eminence in Asia? 

No risk of stale bread here – on this fresh 2023 serving, academic and former defence official Hugh White argued that the AUKUS deal is a huge strategic blunder for Australia. 

The future of us with Liz Allen

Political leaders often pitch Australia as the land of ‘a fair go’, but with real social mobility so hard to come by for many, is this more national myth than reality? 

At a time of intense debate about the adequacy of Australia’s social security system, there is no better final helping than this. Demographer Liz Allen joined the show to discuss how policymakers can ensure demography doesn’t equal destiny and the future of our nation. 

Still not full? Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode – you can listen to Democracy Sausage on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or wherever you get your podcasts.

If you have feedback on the show or ideas for future episodes, get in touch with us at democracysausage@anu.edu.au.  

Top image: Tracey Nearmy/ANU

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