"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ... it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
This isn't A Tale of Two Cities - it's a tale of two parties.
The Australian Greens and the Liberal Party are facing similar dilemmas at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants to broaden the minor party's voter base, without dumping its heritage as champions of the environment and progressive causes.
However, there are fears taking a more centrist and pragmatic approach - and especially doing deals with a Liberal-National government - will lead to a loss of soul and electoral support.
The standard bearer for the disgruntled is NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.
Her most recent departure from others in the federal parliamentary party room was to endorse a leaflet distributed in inner Sydney rejecting Malcolm Turnbull's schools funding plan dubbed Gonski 2.0.
Party colleagues believe Rhiannon - who was following the direction of NSW Greens as required by the rules - undermined a potential deal with the government to deliver a fairer version of the Gonski plan.
The government swiftly switched tack and sealed a deal with Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon and other crossbenchers, catching the Greens off-guard, after the party met with Education Minister Simon Birmingham just moments before.
On Wednesday, Rhiannon's colleagues - with the exception of Victorian MP Adam Bandt - decided to exclude her from "partyroom discussions and decisions on contentious government legislation, including within (her) portfolio responsibilities, until these issues are resolved".
They also requested the party's national council work with Greens NSW to end the practice of NSW members being bound to vote against decisions of the Australian Greens party room.
Rhiannon, who will meet with her NSW colleagues in coming weeks, says the decision is wrong and could be in breach of the party's constitution.
Di Natale was conciliatory on Thursday, saying it did not represent a penalty or expulsion and there was still room in the party for Rhiannon.
He is well aware of the potential dangers.
NSW represents not only a large proportion of the Greens membership, but crucial funds and a strong base of local councillors and state parliamentarians.
On the other end of the spectrum, the champion of the Liberal moderates Malcolm Turnbull faces an insurrection from the conservative wing of his party.
The leaking of a boastful speech by another moderate, Christopher Pyne, has brought into public view what has largely been an internal battle for the hearts and minds of Liberal supporters.
Pyne, who declared the moderates were in the "winner's circle" and same-sex marriage could happen "sooner than everyone thinks", has now apologised for the comments.
But he has infuriated conservatives such as Tony Abbott who already fear voters are switching off Turnbull and turning to the likes of Cory Bernardi, David Leyonhjelm and One Nation.
"The next election won't be won by drawing closer to Labor," argues Abbott.
"The next election can only be won by drawing up new battlelines that give our people something to fight for and the public something to hope for."
Those closest to Abbott insist he is not campaigning to return to the leadership which he lost to Turnbull in September 2015.
However, the impression of disunity will only help Labor.
Turnbull walks a dangerous tightrope between satisfying voters who believe him to be a pragmatic moderate with keeping the Liberal-National base rock-solid.
In the meantime, Bill Shorten heads a party held together by a combination of complex factional deals, new rules making it virtually impossible to ditch leaders mid-term and growing confidence of winning the next election.
A royal commission into unions, attacks over the party's links to the CFMEU and the prime minister's savage personal put-downs in question time have failed to shift the polls, which have favoured Labor since just after the election 12 months ago.
Turnbull is hoping "good government" will win the day, but he has a Dickens of a task.