Episode 11 – Could a Hawke, Keating or Howard survive today?

From social media to our need for 24 hour news, we know that the world has changed. But how would past leaders survive today? And do we put our current political leaders under so much pressure, despite being able to do only so much? Talking through these topics with me is professional economist William Witheridge and Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov. A special thanks to Sam Muller for his help in producing this episode!

Jordan’s point that institutions should be our focus, instead of leaders themselves, is inspired by a Nobel Lecture from the late James M. Buchanan:

And links for the trailers to the Best of Enemies and Get Me Roger Stone documentaries he mentions:

Will’s suggestions are a speech by journalist Peter Hartcher, “The Sweet Spot: How Australia Made its Own Luck – and Could Now Throw it all Away”. An extract:


“People say sometimes, and this is a common question, they say, “What’s Australia’s biggest problem? Is it your health system? Is it productivity? Is it education? Is it the high Australian dollar? What’s the biggest single problem that the country has?” My answer to that is, well the biggest single problem is not so much any individual problem, but the problem-solving mechanism itself – the problem-solving mechanism that we call national politics. In my view, we got lucky. We got lucky with high-quality national leadership.”

Will also suggests a speech by Gary Banks – long-time Chair of Australia’s Productivity Commission – “Successful reform: past lessons, future challenges”:


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