As readers will know I am not a big fan of Nationalâ€™sÂ Candidate College, mainly because most of the members tellÂ me it is a series of people just lecturing about how greatÂ they are, rather than teaching much practical. To my mind a candidates college should prepare people for the robust nature of selections, and then for the campaign trail rather than spend endless hour explaining what it is like being a MP. there are changes mooted but I would bet the Candidates College meets just once this year…on the morning of Conference.
The problem for National is they have consistently failed toÂ pass on institutional knowledge. People attending theÂ candidates college could expect to get a realistic appraisalÂ of their chances of being an MP, but this simply doesnâ€™tÂ happen. The Party has a perverse incentive to get as manyÂ people in selection as possible, so lets just about everyoneÂ through, even if they have no chance of making it intoÂ parliament.
What is worse is the National Party does not tell membersÂ that there is absolutely no benefit in running in a red seatÂ or trying to get in on the list. In 2014 the tide will beÂ going Â out and unless you get a safe blue seat you will notÂ be going to parliament.
Running in a red seat gives you no chance of a better listÂ position in the future, or a better chance of winningÂ selection in a blue seat. National will not help red seat
candidates advance their careers, unlikely Labour, and willÂ be highly likely to ignore candidates until they begin aÂ desperate search for suckers to run at the next election.
If you do choose to run in a red seat it will cost you anÂ arm and a leg in lost wages and National will tax youÂ through their â€śVictory Fundâ€ť because they are useless at
fundraising. You will not have any influence on policy, andÂ if you donâ€™t say the closely scripted lines force fed toÂ you someone from Wellington will ring up and scream at you.
Those who donâ€™t believe me should ask previous red seatÂ candidates if this is the truth or not. With the currentÂ useless president donâ€™t expect anything to change any timeÂ soon.