Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister, spent 32 years in politics. Renowned for his oratorical ability, superb negotiation skills and workable minority governments, he served as Prime Minister for three separate terms in the turbulent first decade of the new Commonwealth.
As questions of dual citizenship threaten the Commonwealth Government’s majority today, Sally Warhaft is joined by Judith Brett for a conversation about Deakin’s legacy and the link between the early days of federated Australia and the contemporary situation.
What does it take to govern successfully without a majority? And, if minority governments are the norm in many advanced democracies, why does the prospect loom as a bogeyman in Australian public conversation?
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 ... Read more
Judith Brett is emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University. A former editor of Meanjin and columnist for the Age, she won the National Biography Award in 2018 for The Enigmatic Mr Deakin. She is the author of four Quarterly Essays: Relaxed and Comfortable, Exit Right, Fair Share ... Read more
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