Great story in Crikey today (but that's the e-mal version) that recounts the battle going on inside the Democrats between a "Christian Centrist" takeover from South Australia, battling what they perceive to be still blaming "the gays" for the party's demise.
There were a very sizeable number of people who wanted to put the Democrats down (like a racehorse) after it lost its final Senate positions. Their theory was that to try to continue would only further traduce the memory of a party that did have some significant achievements and influence.
To those who still want to coalesce around a "progressive" banner without feeling the need to bed down with the machine driven union dominated beast that is Labor, or to sell their sould to a single issue party like the Greens (and be a fellow traveller with unreconstructed Trots) it is perhaps time you did what the Australia Party and Liberal Reform Movement did all those years ago. That is find yourself a saviour, someone with a sufficiently high profile (and ego to match) to relaunch progressive politics.
Unfortunately, no names spring to mind. Brendan Nelso might almost get there if it weren't for the fact that his final incarnation (to win the leadership) was as an arch-conservative. It needs to be someone who acknowledges climate change, up to date with same sex relationship rights, who is otherwise highly liberal in the role of the State. Peter Costello with a smirk transplant is one option, but only if desperate.