With the surprise election of Tony Abbott as leader of the Liberal party, it would seem that carving out the party's identity and deciding a stance on the ETS would have become clearer.
The margin of one vote for Abbott means that the once united and seemingly indestructible Liberal party remains fractured. They have within them, two almost equally numbered and diametrically opposed camps of climate change sceptics and believers that have come to impassable loggerheads.
So what should they do if they want to once again become an electable force?
In my mind, with the Nationals resolute on opposing the ETS and with a slim majority of the Liberal party now supporting a leader possessed by the same idea; perhaps it is time for the Liberal Party's small l-liberals to split from their conservative brethren and create a new centre party in the mould of the now defunct Australian Democrats.
That third political party- one which was intent on moderation and the interrogation of Liberal and Labor- would create a much better balance for Australian Federal politics. A political system during the Rudd years which has sunk into the quagmire of both major parties battling to appear the most family centred and moderate.
Where has been the debate?
The last week has been the best example of how slim the political spectrum has become.
Turnbull- the opposition leader- having finally gotten a small majority of his party to agree to vote for the government's ETS then pushed for them to pass it through the Senate- even if he lost the leadership battle- because it would mean breaking a promise to Rudd.
A strange display from an opposition leader that can't find much to oppose in government policy.
What needs to happen for that political spectrum to widen is for a third political party to emerge; one which revitalises the ‘keep the bastards honest' mantra of the Democrats and one which focuses on the future, families and fiscal conservatism.
If they were then to write a few not-to-controversial and family focused policies a wedge would be created in Federal politics as Labor would be forced to either agree with the centrist position-and appear irrelevant-or they would have to strike up new positions a little further left.
This would in theory create a political structure mirroring what Britain has long enjoyed with the Liberal Democrats as a third, and sometimes deciding force in political decisions.
It would also mean that the consolidated Liberal party under Tony Abbott- the self-confessed ‘ideological love child of Bronwyn Bishop and John Howard'- could create a strong and united vision.
Something that a lot of Australians would surely like to see.