STRANGE POLITICS: Here's what Cory Bernardi's up to
RIGHT-wing Senator Cory Bernardi's fairly transparent dream of dropping the Liberals and creating a conservative splinter party is looking more likely than ever to come true.
First he trademarked the name and logos for the "Australian Conservatives" - a new political force to unite right-leaning parliamentarians, but supposedly not intended to become a party in its own right.
Never mind the group's stated aim is to provide "the services of a political party" - that is just semantics.
The Senator has often been at odds with the Liberals, but stuck with them since his election in 2006. However, cracks are starting to form.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC program Q&A on Monday he had been involved in "firm discussions with a number of colleagues" about their perceived homophobia.
Bernardi was presumably at the top of the list, and he was furious.
He responded with a fierce blog post, dubbed Orwellian Influence in Public Discourse, saying it was "unfortunate" his party leader had "sought to appease the baying crowd when challenged by the left-leaning cheerleader and host Tony Jones".
Bernardi denied ever having spoken with Turnbull about homophobia, adding that "not one of (his) critics has been able to substantiate the slur with any factual evidence".
For now, at least, he seems content to go to the election on the Liberal Party ticket. But how long that will last is anyone's guess.