This seems rather politically odd... considering they have a renewed "mandate" to keep pushing their right-wing, pro-war, neo-economic agenda. The first year of the election cycle is usually used to do all the controversial and politically risky stuff in order to leave enough time for the voter to forget about it at the next election. The agenda pushing is likely to be left until after June 30 next year when the Coalition controls the Senate. In the meantime they are appear to be softening the rhetoric either to save their energy for the right-wing legislative Armageddon or for some other reason I can't quite put my finger on.
Are there moderate backbenchers who need to be appeased in order to guarantee their support during after June 30?
Is Howard attempting to, after his success in swollowing up One Nation, now turning his sights on Democrat voters?
Or is he just getting the electorate ready for the likes of Costello, or simply giving us a slight breather before he gives Abbott the keys to the Lodge?
I really don't know at this stage. But it's scaring the shit out of me.