As readers will know I am not a big fan of National’s Candidate College, mainly because most of the members tell me it is a series of people just lecturing about how great 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 to pass on institutional knowledge. People attending the candidates college could expect to get a realistic appraisal of their chances of being an MP, but this simply doesn’t happen. The Party has a perverse incentive to get as many people in selection as possible, so lets just about everyone through, even if they have no chance of making it into parliament.
What is worse is the National Party does not tell members that there is absolutely no benefit in running in a red seat or trying to get in on the list. In 2014 the tide will be going out and unless you get a safe blue seat you will not be going to parliament.
Running in a red seat gives you no chance of a better list position in the future, or a better chance of winning selection in a blue seat. National will not help red seat
candidates advance their careers, unlikely Labour, and will be highly likely to ignore candidates until they begin a desperate search for suckers to run at the next election.
If you do choose to run in a red seat it will cost you an arm and a leg in lost wages and National will tax you through their “Victory Fund” because they are useless at
fundraising. You will not have any influence on policy, and if you don’t say the closely scripted lines force fed to you someone from Wellington will ring up and scream at you.
Those who don’t believe me should ask previous red seat candidates if this is the truth or not. With the current useless president don’t expect anything to change any time soon.