The words "new paradigm" were thrown about on the floors of both houses of parliament yesterday as though we'd entered some strange new world of politics, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that there are very few people alive who would remember the turbulent parliaments before the Great War.
Up until the hearing deficient Billy Hughes took office in 1915, the Premiership changed hands nine times; most of those were because the government of the day wasn't able to either pass legislation because it didn't have command of the house. This so called "new paradigm" isn't therefore new at all, but dates back almost 30 years before even the birth of the current Father of the House, Phillip Ruddock.
It has only been since about the time of Charles Grey in 1830, that Westminster Parliaments generally have had stable party systems, and certainly nothing like the system of whips and caucuses which exist today. If you bear this in mind, it might be a little easier to understand the current situation we currently have today.
Essentially this is a numbers game. The current rainbow coalition of Labor, a Green and four indies only just falls over the magical line of 76 seats. It is still theoretically possible for the Liberal-National coalition plus a WA National and only three indies to force a no-confidence motion and force a change of government. Provided a no-confidence motion was tabled before the house, then a change of government could be forced even without the need to call an election.
The other possible scenario is that a supply bill (ie the Federal Budget) could be either defeated in the Lower or the Upper House. If this was the case then government would not be able to function and a fresh election would be called. Again this has also happened in Australian politics, most famously in 1975.
Really there is no "new paradigm" not matter how hard Senator Joyce chooses to yell it from the floor of the Senate. The truth is that the Australian Parliament has already been here before and has come out the other side. Perhaps it's just something fun to say of you happen to be a politician... who knows nothing of political history.