Democracy (handle with care)

featuring Bill Browne and Ebony Bennett
Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell attends the Annual Leaders’ Meeting between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, June 17, 2024. Li Qiang, who is second only to President Xi Jinping, is on a four-day visit to Australia.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch


Careless political finance reforms could shift the balance in Australian democracy in favour of special interests.

Will the government’s political finance reforms keep vested interests out of politics or ensure the major parties dominate Australia’s political landscape? Could South Australia’s proposed political donations ban become a model for the rest of the country? And what home-grown innovations have insulated Australia from some of the democratic backsliding seen in the United States? On this episode of Follow the Money, the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Director Bill Browne joins Ebony Bennett to discuss political finance reform.

This discussion was recorded on Tuesday 2 July 2024 and things may have changed since recording.

Guest: Bill Browne, Director, Democracy & Accountability program, the Australia Institute // @Browne90

Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett

Show notes:

Principles for fair political finance reform by Bill Browne, The Australia Institute (August 2023)

SA’s political donation ban ambitious, but must safeguard diversity of voices, The Australia Institute (June 2024)

Honest Government Ad | How to Rig Elections, Juice Media

Theme music: Pulse and Thrum; additional music by Blue Dot Sessions

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