Is Kevin Rudd trying to wedge the Liberals?

It is no secret that the modern Liberal Party is – insofar as it can be characterised in ideological terms (always an important caveat, since few people’s views map neatly onto the organising ‘isms’ used by intellectuals) – an alliance of liberalism and conservativism. Interestingly, this is often an alliance within individuals as well as between individuals. There are social conservatives who hold essentially liberal (ie, pro-market) views on economic matters. There are social liberals who hold essentially conservative views on economic matters (ie, in favour of the old protectionist system). The Prime Minister has often discussed the liberal-conservative alliance, such as in this April 2006 speech:

The Liberal Party of Australia is the custodian of two traditions in Australian politics. It is the custodian of the classic liberal tradition, but it is also the custodian of the conservative tradition in Australian politics. You have frequently heard me use the expression