Who is to blame for National not having completed selection yet?

National have been very, very slow at selecting candidates this cycle, and they have yet to complete the selection for Epsom. An election only occurs every three years, and that year is well known, yet National were not able to select candidates for the marginal seats of Palmerston North or Rimutaka until well into 2011.

They have also stuffed up selecting people early enough for list ranking to be completed at regional conferences, which is the standard set out in the constitution and the point of the regional conference in election year. So list ranking still isn’t complete and we are still waiting to see who will be the sacrificial lamb in Epsom.

The post election review needs to ask the very hard question “Who is responsible for this total screw up that was clearly avoidable if someone competent had have done something?”

There are two main contenders for the blame, the President, who is responsible for the party, and has no role in governing as his job is to make sure the party is well funded and has plenty of candidates selected early enough. The president does not hide behind “We were busy governing so didn’t do selection until 2011.” This is total bullshit because the party has no role in governing, they run the party, not the country, and that’s the way it should be. Unelected party hacks running the country is what Labour do, not what National does.

The other person who needs scrutiny is the campaign manager. Any decent campaign manager would have been thumping the table in early 2010 demanding candidates were selected early so they would have the most chance of winning. There are no weasel clauses that says the campaign manager isn’t responsible for all aspects of the campaign management, and the campaign manager should have just thrown a temper tantrum and yelled at everyone in sight. All the good burghers would have then ducked for cover and and candidates would have been selected early enough.

Right now it just looks like a bugger’s muddle is running the party. When the heat comes on and cheques need to start being written is when the next pressure point will be revealed in National’s poor planning for the election.


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  • naylor

    Oh God so Councillor Paul Goldsmith is throwing his name in the ring alongside Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar for Epsom. With Banks standing for ACT it’s as if C&R is shifting its focus away from supporting Auckland and putting its efforts into national politics.

    Can’t National find a decent candidate that may actually have some hope of representing the voters of Epsom instead of has-been Auckland Councilors who viewed Auckland Council as simply a skipping stone to the national politics. All we need is that oxygen thief Christine Fletcher suddenly have a rush of blood to the head and decide she is needed back in Wellington.

  • abjv

    Candidate selection for Epsom on hold until closer to the day. Working out from their in-house polling how Act is going nationally. If the public tires of The Don and Act has a chance of only getting one MP, it is worth it for National to try to win Epsom outright. If Act look like they’re going to get 2 or more MPs but not up to 5% it is worth it for National to throw the seat. Requires a different sort of candidate if you’re going for broke to win it (e.g. needs to be someone with high local presence) or if you’re just going for list votes (in which case anything Blue would do).