The best resources to help you understand Australian politics

I don’t know if you’re aware, but there’s an Australian federal election coming up. Whatever your thoughts on the past three years and the collective trauma experienced during this time, you will soon have the opportunity to voice your thoughts at the ballet box. Admittedly, politics can seem accessible at the best of times. There’s no shame in feeling bogged down by terms and political jargon, and if you know it’s no coincidence, it’s by design.

What is important is that when the opportunity to vote arises, you do so confidently and knowingly. Considering the last time many of us brushed up on our understanding of Australian politics was in sixth grade, there’s no better time than the present to brush up on our knowledge and do a little revision. That’s why the RUSSH team has put together this handy guide to the podcasts and books we turn to when it comes to all things #AusPol. From books that cut through the mindless ramblings of politicians to podcasts that flag proposed new legislation, these are the resources you need to arm yourself with as the federal election approaches and beyond.


Econobabble -Richard Deniss

Prominent Australian economist Richard Denniss breaks down what politicians really mean when they talk about the economy. It sheds light on the jargon they use to keep ordinary, illiterate people out of the conversational economy and the logic they rely on to prove their arguments. What you will soon discover is incredibly illogical. Read for a direct view of the political spin and economic absurdities.

Top Blokes: The Myth, Class and Power of Larrikin -Lech Blaine

For his piece for The quarterly trial Journalist and author Lech Blaine sets aside the myth-making and marketing that Australian prime ministers relied on during their stints in politics. A timely read for those wondering how a man who grew up in Bronte and attended a selective inner city high school manages to line up as an everyday working class Australian. Blaine digs into the fighter and larrikin archetype, wondering which Australians they serve and what that tells us about who qualifies as Australian.

Sex, Lies and Question Time -Kate Ellis

Over the past three years we have been bombarded with a myriad of miserable realities. One of the most salient is how toxic Parliament is as a workplace for women. If gender equality matters to you at election time, be sure to get your hands on a copy of Sex, Lies and Question Time by former MP Kate Ellis. Here, she lifts the veil on the toxicity of politics for women in Australia, drawing on the stories of her contemporaries like Julia Gillard, Penny Wong and Sarah Hanson-Young.

lies and lies -Bernard Keane

If you sense a trend here, you don’t have to look far for your answer. Here, Crikey reporter Bernard Keane begins his book with all the recorded lies Scott Morrison told while in public office. As Keane argues, lying has always been present in politics, but in the age of Donald Trump and his contemporaries, excessive and blatant lying has become the norm for our heads of state. For anyone who has found themselves both fascinated and exhausted by our “post-truth” era, Keane explains how we got here and how we can get out of it.


No silly questions – The Daily Aus

As the title suggests, there are no silly questions when it comes to the upcoming federal election according to The Daily Aus. Listen here to informative and simple explanations of all this Australian politics. With episodes breaking down how elections even work and what the government Actually fact, it is an excellent starting point before voting.

Left Right Output

Politics is for everyone. At least it should be. That’s the premise behind Elfy Scott and Justine Landis-Hanley’s podcast. After all, if we can’t understand the process that governs us, then it’s a one-way ticket to hordes of disenfranchised people. Here they unpack common questions like what’s the deal with the United Australia Party and why do they keep texting us, and more.

Australian politics – The Guardian

Focusing on the state of Australian politics more broadly, acclaimed journalist Katharine Murphy will be holding our hands as the temperature reaches boiling point ahead of the upcoming election. So far, she’s interviewed Jacqui Lambie about the political landscape in Tasmania, spoken with Penny Wong about Labour’s plans to mend foreign relations, got Josh Frydenberg to reflect on his tenure as treasurer during the pandemic and brought us up to speed. day on how Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are polling currently.

The party room -ABCRadio

For The party room, Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas deliver news from Parliament directly to our listening spaces. As the federal election approaches, there’s no doubt the conversation will focus on how each party votes, what it promises, with thoughtful election analysis woven throughout.


ABC Voting Compass

If you’re new to voting or want to assess each candidate and their policies against each other, this is a powerful tool to know. First, you can measure your stance on issues like gender equality and the environment and see how your values ​​align with campaigning parties. You can also see where you fall on the spectrum as a voter. Do you lean left or right? Are your economic views conservative or progressive? Try.

Australian Institute Essential Reading List 2021

While we’re always here to update you on Australian voices and books that we consider essential reading, we have to admit that the Australia Institute’s own annual reading list is a great resource for those looking to meddle in public debates at the center of our political discourse.

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