As we come to the end of the last week in Parliament before the winter recess, we farewell what was once a bold experiment in Australian politics, an attempted fusion of Left and Right, an effort to join the heart and the head in a political package that would reflect the best traditions of Australian politics. The experiment ultimately proved a failure, undone by an inability to find a path between conservatism and liberalism, but not before it provided some great copy and some hilarity at its foibles and emotionalism.

Yes, it’s time to farewell Brendan Nelson.

Today, all things being equal, will be Brendan’s last effort in the Leader’s chair. It’s been a wild ride, but he has left his mark on Australian politics, and we pray that, once Malcolm Turnbull assumes his place, he remains on the Coalition frontbench, from where we can enjoy his fury and deep anguish at the many outrages of the Rudd Government.

Oh, and the Democrats are finishing up, too, and probably Alexander Downer. And a bunch of others senators. But the one we’ll miss most is the one, the only, Emo Man.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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