It is clear that this hack has to go. It is equally clear that Labor would lose Penrith in a landslide, and that the Federal Libs would win the corresponding seat of Lindsay to boot. What will happen is that Palluzzano will be forced to resign but that there won't be a byelection for the Liberals to cut their teeth on; instead, the seat will be kept vacant and will swing with a vengeance next March, like the rest of the state.
This is what happens when you have two governments run by the fading, failing, flailing NSW Labor right: poor candidate selection (loyalty to some factional clown), timid risk-averse policy, and a political "solution" that treats democracy and constituent service as priority last. Rudd harnessed the power of NSW Labor Right when they were the nation's most powerful political machine; the rapid fade of the Carr gloss and the arid state of the NSW government after the departure of a few
Palluzzano is only in Parliament because of the ALP machine. She is not there because she is the Authentic Voice of Penrith, The People's Champion, as independent MPs have to be to their communities. Labor feminists like Meredith Burgmann who sought to create the same opportunities for mediocre women as there are for mediocre men can look upon Palluzzano with great satisfaction. Labor might want to distance themselves from her but they can't because she, and others like her, would have no access to various parliamentary funding schemes without that party. Penrith people who work for the ALP in whatever capacity cannot seriously distance themselves from Palluzzano: in Penrith anyway, she is Labor and Labor is her. The Labor Federal MP for Lindsay will not succeed entirely in distancing himself from Palluzzano, even if he wins (though with the "Ala Akba!" pamphleteers still around, found by courts to lack conviction and reduced to plaintively eyeballing passers-by at railway stations - it's a distinct possibility).
It will be interesting to see what will happen to Tim Horan, the whistleblower: probably the same thing that happened to Milton Orkopoulos' staff (except, of course, Nathan Rees), i.e. he'll get screwed. The rugby legend of the same name must be livid.
Labor can, however, take some comfort in the ineptitude of whoever advised Barry O'Farrell to say this:
... Karyn Paluzzano should be suspended from Labor Party membership," Mr O'Farrell said yesterday.
No: it's neither here nor there whom an organisation wants (or doesn't want) as a member unless you are also a member. If Palluzzano ceases to be a member of the ALP, you can't tar them all with that brush (which is why they'll do it). Palluzzano is a symbol of NSW Labor's last, desperate lunge for the trough, and the least you can do is draw attention to this.