Former Senator Rex Patrick joins Democracy Sausage this week to discuss the Australian government’s “mind-blowingly absurd” AUKUS decision-making.

Has the Australian government put all of its eggs in one nuclear basket with the AUKUS submarines deal, rather than investing in the range of capabilities necessary to defend Australia?

Will the “highly risky” British-designed submarines actually make it to Australian shores, and what will be the implications for South Australia’s defence industry workforce if they don’t?

And after losing the once-safe Aston in a historic by-election over the weekend, what lessons can the Liberal Party learn about its ability to attract moderate voters?

On this episode of Democracy Sausage, former Senator Rex Patrick joins Professor Mark Kenny and Dr Marija Taflaga to discuss the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and the fallout from the Aston by-election.

Rex Patrick is a former Senator for South Australia and a former submariner. 

Marija Taflaga is the Director of the ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a Lecturer at the ANU School of Politics and International Relations.

Mark Kenny is a Professor at the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the University after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Acast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback on this series, so send in your questions, comments or suggestions for future episodes to

This podcast is produced by The Australian National University.

Image: razihusin/

You may also like

Article Card Image

Democracy Sausage: the world of the pre-citizen

Legal and youth justice expert Faith Gordon joins Mark Kenny to discuss young people, social media and democracy.

Article Card Image

Democracy Sausage: the state and democracy

This week we are returning to the building blocks of politics and democracy, as philosopher Philip Pettit joins Mark Kenny to question assumptions.

Article Card Image

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is determined to advance reconciliation

The Prime Minister reflected on the outcome of the Voice referendum on an episode of ANU podcast Democracy Sausage.

Subscribe to ANU Reporter