What is the use of a ministerial code of conduct if the Prime Minister of the day is unable to understand it well enough to make a judgment as to whether or not it has been breached?
That is the question that must be asked in the wake of Scott Morrison's decision to refer a determination on whether or not Bridget McKenzie has acted inappropriately to Prime Minister and Cabinet for the second time in less than a week.
The latest issue, whether or not Mackenzie acted improperly by awarding a $36,000 grant to a sports club of which she had recently been made an honorary member, beggars belief.
The PM's failure to make a call on this leaves voters just three options to choose from.
The first is that he is either ethically or intellectually incapable of rendering a verdict on an obvious breach of propriety that would never survive the "pub test".
The second is that despite the code of conduct's plain language and the straightforward principles it enunciates, the document must be so incredibly complex and legalistic it can't be unravelled by ordinary mortals.
The third is, as many commentators have speculated, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Bridget McKenzie, who would have all had a hand in the decision to direct sporting grants ahead of the last election, are just playing for time.
All the evidence tends to support the third proposition with yesterday's Prime Ministerial press conference on the corona virus serving as a clear reminder events have been breaking the Coalition's way.
Morrison's failure to make a call on this leaves voters just three options to choose from.
The bushfires, conflict in the Middle East, the implosion within the royal family and now the prospect of a global respiratory plague, have sucked a lot of oxygen out of the ALP's rather lacklustre attempts to claim a scalp.
Labor, given its own dubious track record in this area, has to be very careful about what it does and what it says at times like these.
The less that is said about Ros Kelly, 1994 and the whiteboard the better.
Then, of course, there is the fact if Anthony Albanese goes too hard on this what is said now could come back to haunt him when Labor returns to power.
At this stage the question of which has been the most arrogant; McKenzie's continuing refusal to do the right thing and resign in the face of mounting evidence of impropriety or the PM's contemptuous refusal to acknowledge this is even a serious issue, is almost impossible to call.
Morrison's crack: "I'm sure there are other things you would like to raise with me as well", followed by a smirk, at Thursday's press conference won't be forgotten by the gallery in a hurry.
While there has been some speculation McKenzie could be stepping down as soon as before the weekend that looks unlikely.
Morrison has made it clear he is more than happy for Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary, Philip Gaetjens, to take as long as he likes to conclude his investigations.
Given the obvious support she is receiving from the PM and her own party leader, it would appear to make little sense for McKenzie to take precipitate action until the verdict is in.
Some have suggested that verdict may be a foregone conclusion given the Coalition's line that no laws have been broken.
At this stage the Coalition appears to be hoping this debacle will have been overtaken by subsequent events before Parliament resumes on February 4. But it's difficult to see how McKenzie will be able to continue in her current capacity following this extensive saga.