Economics and finance, Government and governance | Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World, Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia

10 August 2020

What does it take to be a political leader? What’s the magic mix of talent and time? And do Australia’s treasurer and shadow treasurer have that mix? Joining Mark Kenny to talk about what it takes to do the top job are commentator Niki Savva and Marija Taflaga.

After botching the bushfire response, many argue Prime Minister Scott Morrison has performed strongly in the pandemic. But while he’s riding high in the polls, showing flexibility in policy, and moving quickly to sure up a struggling economy, the real political test will come with the predicted deep and long recession to come. If he or opposition leader Anthony Albanese struggle, both government and opposition have potential leaders in waiting in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers. But what does it take to lead? Do you need 20 years’ experience in politics? Or has the accelerated rate of change that has afflicted Australian politics over the last two decades changed the political paradigm? Joining Professor Mark Kenny to talk leadership, recession, and recovery are journalist and commentator Niki Savva and regular podleague Dr Marija Taflaga. Listen here:

Niki Savva is an Australian journalist, author, and former senior adviser to Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello.

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.

Dr Marija Taflaga is Director of the Australian Politics Studies Centre in the ANU School of Politics and International Relations. Her major research is on political parties and particularly the Liberal Party of Australia. She has previously worked in the Australian Parliamentary Press Gallery as a researcher at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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 You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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

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