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26 March 2021

When did Australian politics become so fixated on sex scandals? Why are we not talking about the economy in 2021, at a time when the Australian government’s debt is soaring? Why aren’t we talking more about public policy, like we did in the John Howard years.

Rowan Dean joins us to talk about his editorial on why quotas aren’t the answer for the Liberal Party, and why more women wouldn’t have prevented the shocking behaviour in parliament that we’re seeing.

Spectator Australia regular and future prime minister (we hope!) Senator Matt Canavan tells us what he makes of the sleazy sex scandal engulfing Australian politics this week, and responds to our questions about why the Channel 10 parliament sex scandal story captures our attention in a way that matters of public policy do not. He also explains why, if we listened to the United Nations’ environmental concerns about the Warragamba dam, we may struggle to mitigate natural disasters like the NSW floods.

Kerry Wakefield joins us to talk about her piece responding to phenomena like the recent women’s march and the way in which certain elements of third-wave feminism have backfired. She also shares her thoughts on the broader discussion around women’s safety.

Amid speculation as to whether Christian Porter will remain a cabinet minister, IPA Research Fellow Morgan Begg talks about his piece on the Morrison government’s abandonment of basic legal rights – including its muted reaction to conservatives being targeted by the Attorney-General’s Department, and why that set an unhelpful precedent for resisting an inquiry into the Christian Porter affair.

And Sarah Dudley gives us a first look at her brilliant front cover of the coming edition of the Spectator Australia, fusing the two issues of the NSW floods and Scott Morrison’s bizarre press conference responding to sleazy sex scandals in Australian politics.

Gideon Rozner

Gideon Rozner is the Director of Policy at the Institute of Public Affairs

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