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The Fifth Estate

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The Numbers Game

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Lindsay Tanner, former Finance minister and ALP heavyweight, talks with Sally about the state of the democratic process in Australia. Together they ask: how robust is our democracy?

Australia’s economy is one of the world’s most stable, but the same can’t be said about our government.

Since the knife-edge federal election of 2010, the ALP has held minority government with the support of a loose coalition of very different interests: the two rural independents, anti-pokies maverick Andrew Wilkie and Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Adding fuel to that volatile mix is the uncertainty at the head of our major parties: the recent leadership tussle – and the contrast between public campaigning and party politics it exposed – may have left Australian voters more baffled and disillusioned than ever.

What are the implications of our vote? Has it all just turned into a numbers game? Does it matter who’s in charge, anyway? And is our democratic process in peril?

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.