If the boat people issue continues for long enough to do Rudd serious damage, Australia’s conservatives might have a chance at winning power. Or, who knows, they might even raise the issue of legal immigration, effectively kept out of politics by the usual bipartisan consensus since Hanson’s implosion.
But probably, like the GOP in the U.S., they will opt to play the political game in the approved way—and lose.
The Coalition does not have the stomach the question the immigration status quo. The useless Malcolm "I Can't Believe It's Not Labor" Turnbull and his hapless gang simply won't dare challenge Rudd's immigration free-for-all for fear of not only opening themselves up to allegations of 'racism' but also upsetting their Big Business friends and financiers who enthusiastically support open-borders.
The best thing that could happen would be for the Coalition to suffer a massive, debilitating defeat at the next election, thereby preciptiating its implosion and permanent disappearance from the Australian political landscape. This would allow an actual conservative party to take its place, a party that actually offered the electorate a real choice on immigration.