THE #TRANSITZOME PODCASTS started in August 2020 at the peak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As Tim Dunlop, currently in Nice, France, Margo Kingston in her new home in Comboyne, regional New South Wales and Peter Clarke in Melbourne, Australia, reunite to reflect on another year of covid, politics and the media, the Omicron highly transmissible variant is causing huge concern globally and in Australia.
The actual severity of the disease this variant causes is still being analysed by epidemiologists and other medical scientists around the world. Its emergence coincides with a general “opening up” of borders and wholesale relaxing of restrictions including facemasks and social distancing in Australia although still with clear differences across the Federation as the country faces another uncertain Christmas and New Year.
Tim, Margo and Peter discuss the pandemic, a looming federal election, the patent corruption of the Morrison federal government, the phenomenon of the “Voices of” centre right, community-based, independent candidates challenging Liberal party incumbents in ostensible “blue ribbon” seats in cities and regional electorates based on their “four pillars – climate change, a federal integrity commission, gender equity and democratic representation itself.
Tim, Margo and Peter speculate around what a hung federal parliament might look like and the potential role of current and any new independents in forming a minority government and the crucial role of political journalism to our democracy during the impending inevitably intense election campaign. Will the media meet the challenge in a Trump induced “post-truth” era in Australia?
This next election will be pivotal to the future of our liberal democracy.