Channel Nine’s leaders’ debate on Sunday night may have been a “shouty, unedifying spectacle”, but Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese will do it all again on Wednesday evening on Channel Seven.
Why? In the latest episode of our election podcast Below the Line, our panel of experts explain that our political leaders are under pressure to persuade voters as quickly as possible, given early voting centres have now opened and Australians can cast their ballots.
But what policies aren’t being talked about on the debate stages and the campaign trail? Plenty, according to the University of Sydney’s Simon Jackman and Anika Gauja and La Trobe University’s Andrea Carson. Below the Line’s usual host Jon Faine is away for this episode, but will return later in the week.
Anika identifies migration and the casualisation of work as two key issues the major parties have largely steered clear of in the campaign so far. Simon is dumbfounded by how quickly politicians and the media have dropped the topic of COVID, given how many Australians have died with the disease in 2022. Meanwhile, Andrea wonders why renters can barely get a look in amid all the discussion of first-homebuyer schemes.
Finally, the panel discusses preference deals and whether they could lead to candidates being elected to the lower house despite having relatively few first preferences themselves.
Below the Line is a limited-edition election podcast brought to you by The Conversation and La Trobe University. The show is produced by Courtney Carthy and Benjamin Clark.
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Image credit: Alex Ellinghausen/AAP
Audio credit: Channel Nine/60 Minutes
Disclosure: Simon Jackman is an unpaid consultant on polling data for the Climate 200 network of independent candidates.