In terms of an appropriate sanction, Denis Napthine was probably on solid ground. Geoff Shaw is being ordered to repay $5220.75 to cover the mileage chalked up through the improper use of his vehicle, plus $1617.69 as an add on fine. Shaw will also be humiliatingly named by the Speaker, forced to apologise to the Parliament and the people of Victoria, and suspended for 11 sitting days until September 2, costing him about $3600 in lost pay. If he fails to comply he will be expelled. Although Napthine denies that political considerations have influenced his thinking, his motion also conveniently minimises the risks of a byelection in Frankston - and thus the possibility of the government falling. As Speaker Christine Fyffe pointed out to The Age this week, a byelection would be likely only if Shaw is expelled from Parliament within the next two weeks. Under this scenario, if Shaw fails to comply with Napthine's demands, he won't be booted until after September 2, in which case the battle for the seat would almost certainly be resolved at the November 29 general election. Napthine has also avoided setting what would be a dangerous precedent for Parliament. As he was at pains to stress on Tuesday night, you can't expel an MP just because you don't like them. The downside is that Napthine has only partially cauterised the wound. First, presuming Shaw complies with the motion, he will remain in Parliament. There will be a further eight sitting days remaining after September 2 for further chaos. Second, with Shaw out of the Parliament - even temporarily - it will be far more difficult for the government to get on with its legislative agenda before the election. Third, there is a danger that Napthine now seems out of step with his early tough talk. The Premier did not mince his words last week when he declared he would not be held to ransom by Shaw. Labor will argue Napthine has failed to deliver. Finally, Napthine's internal authority has been eroded, with backbenchers complaining of his handling of the saga. None of these problems are likely to go away easily.