A complicated and vexed issue requires Malcolm Turnbull to deploy some conduct considered near extinct in Australian politics – leadership

It’s not always a sensible strategy to deploy logic when it comes to fathoming what the Coalition may be up to on any given issue, but in this case, logic helps, even when the subject in question is marriage equality.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen Christopher Pyne overshare in a bar, then Malcolm Turnbull try to contain the subsequent fallout by publicly recommitting to a plebiscite, then a short period of radio silence, followed by the Liberal senator Dean Smith clearing his throat meaningfully in a Sunday paper.

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