Perhaps something is wrong with me, but I feel bad for Dave Wilson, and faintly nauseous at the mob clammoring for his neck. Wilson f**ked up — spectacularly and inexcusably. In doing so, he violated a public trust and brought disgrace upon himself and upon democratic institutions already in public repute so low as to undermine civil society.
Consider also what Wilson has lost: a dream job that was probably his as long as he wanted it; his home; his family (or parts of it, to judge from his brother-in-law’s published comments). He has suffered public humiliation that is hard to watch. He will likely go to jail.
Consider too that Wilson resigned promptly. He pled guilty and — apparently — co-operated with authorities, behaviour that saved the justice system far more money than he stole.
Many have voiced outrage over Wilson’s continuing eligibility for his MLA’s pension, but any relevance is spurious. Leave aside the fact that revoking his pension, if such were legal, would mainly harm his wife and children, whose suffering must already be vast. Remember that Wilson earned that pension, according to the rules, during 10 years service as what most describe as a good MLA. Revoking it makes no more sense than any other random, vindictive retribution the mob might conjure. Leave his punishment to an impartial judge, who must weigh all the facts and make a decision rooted in the rule of law.
I hope and expect a judge will treat Wilson fairly, without regard for those who revel in calls for the noose. If His Lordship tempers justice with a
soup-son soupçon of mercy, it’ll be OK by Contrarian.