On the eve of the North Shore by-election Liberal Party candidate Felicity Wilson was confronted over a string of fibs and fudges in her resume and campaign material, creating a dilemma for North Shore voters.
All electors were presented with the challenge of considering whether this admission was sufficiently serious to rule Wilson out of contention.
Liberal Party members had the additional challenge of having to choose between pragmatism and conscience: loyalty to the Party on the one hand or integrity on the other hand.
Not an easy choice, but one that could have been taken off the table, by courageous leadership in the Liberal Party. The honourable thing to do, even at the eleventh hour, would have been for the Liberal Party to withdraw from the race, and thereby demonstrate that it is a Party that commands the moral high ground by championing values that transcend tawdry expediency.
Let’s face it, the government would hardly be brought down by giving up North Shore. On the contrary, the standing of the government could have been greatly enhanced by an unequivocal declaration proclaiming that our Party stands for decency and values beyond temporary political advantage.
It was also a missed opportunity to show that the power of Michael Photios and his minions on the state executive and elsewhere, who steered Wilson to victory in the preselection, could be broken.
A short term loss is a small price to pay for long-term capital gain which had the potential to restore the Party as a brightly-shining beacon of integrity: integrity in a stifling climate of identity politics and socially engineered political correctness.
Make no mistake, the election of Felicity Wilson is a running sore that will plague the Berejiklian government all the way to the next election.
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