The Fifth Estate: The Numbers Game

The Fifth Estate: The Numbers Game

In The Fifth Estate’s debut event, and in the wake of Kevin Rudd’s challenge to Julia Gillard’s leadership, Lindsay Tanner, former Finance minister and ALP heavyweight, talks with Sally Warhaft about the state of the democratic process in Australia.

Together, they explore the challenges of the nation’s political climate. What does a vote count for? Has it all just turned into a numbers game? Does it matter who’s in charge, anyway? And is our democratic process in peril?

Tanner offers his always candid, insightful opinions on how political parties can (and must) diversify their membership, the nature of politics' uniquely competitive environment, and the novelty-hungry media culture surrounding his former colleagues. Taking questions, he reflects on same-sex marriage, the implications of ruling by plebiscite and his own interest in Middle Eastern politics in light of recent events in Syria.


Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Lindsay Tanner

Lindsay Tanner

Lindsay Tanner was the minister for finance and deregulation in the Rudd-Gillard governments, and held the seat of Melbourne for the ALP from 1993 to 2010. Having retired from politics at the 2010 federal election, he is now a special adviser to Lazard Australia, and is a vice-chancellor's fellow and adjunct professor at Victoria University. Mr Tanner is the author of several previous books, including Politics with Purpose (2012) and Sideshow (2011), also published by Scribe.

Listen to The Fifth Estate: The Numbers Game