Hear that? You could hear a pin drop. Isn’t it lovely?

One of the notable things about last week (setting aside the gratuitous Kevin Rudd is baaaaack speculation, that is) was that for two, make it three, blessed days, politics was for all intents and purposes about policy.

How novel. It was oh so quiet that you could hear the sighs of relief emanating from some members of the press gallery …

Laurie Oakes: “The calm and constructive tone, and the surprising amount of agreement that emerged, lowered the political temperature. That was at least partly a result of Tony Abbott being sidelined. The opposition did not take part and so became irrelevant…”

Shaun Carney: “It was, in small part, what once upon a time could have been regarded as a normal week’s business in national politics. Even Opposition Leader Tony Abbott added to the nostalgic glow by raising the possibility yesterday that he would consider supporting the government’s proposed local content rules.”

And our own in-house wonk Possum Comitatus was like a kid in a candy store, rolling around in delight at the marvellous spectacle of “debate informed by professional knowledge, professional experience and professional conduct”.

But all good things must come to an end … and our one gleaming moment of sanity ends tomorrow, when parliament goes back in session.

Some pretty significant pieces of legislation are on the table, but don’t expect that to lift the level of debate in question time to loftier heights. We may be a little glass half empty here, but nothing suggests that the usual round of overblown accusations, ridiculous assertions and flat out falsehoods won’t start up again.

If only politicians could be trusted to acknowledge that, as Possum lamented last week: “Not everything about government is about electoral politics.”

Peter Fray

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