wedge: 1. tighten, secure or fasten by means of a wedge. 2. force open or apart with a wedge.

For more than a decade the politics of the wedge have served John Howard faithfully and to advantage. Take an issue that places your opponent in a corner, wait for him to adopt a counter position and watch as he is wedged into a little sink of dark unpopularity.

What would happen if no-one took the bait? What would happen if the government took a provocative position and nothing came from the opposition; not a peep, not even a sniffing at the hook?

Perhaps the wedge would turn, coming back to bite its owner, turning in a blink from winning wedge to uncomfortable wedgie.

To put it all another way: what would happen if the Government vilified a terror suspect and the opposition just said: sure, ok, whatever.