Goodfellow and the new McCarthyism

National President Peter Goodfellow has succeeded in introducing into National one of the worst traits of American political thinking – McCarthyism.

Those unfortunate enough to sign up for Candidate’s Fodder, excuse me, Candidates College, have been subjected to a small inquisition.

One would think that pertinent questions asked of future candidates should be ones which disqualify people from holding political office like “Are you subject to any name suppression orders?” or “Have you been charged with any crimes, particularly those involving physical violence?”, “Are any of your companies currently facing charges in any jurisdiction worldwide?”. Surely those same questions should be applied to those who wish to seek office at Regional or Board level…after all they seek to represent the party…albeit outside of parliament.

Instead, the supposedly broadchurch National Party is seeking to exclude people based on political affiliation and/or friendships.

“Are you, or have you ever been affiliated to Simon Lusk?” or “What are your connections to Whaleoil?”, for example.

It’s all very McCarthyist as per the Drunken Tailgunner’s campaign to smoke out imaginary communists from the US State Department.

While ferreting out  future-focused fiscal conservatives who take advice from others than Goodfellow and his stooges might be seen as important, delegates at their conference should ask the questions:

  • Do we want homogenous candidates who slavishly follow the orders of the party president?
  • Do we want a caucus of economic centrists who live for the moment instead of thinking three, five or ten years down the line?
  • Should National descend into factional exclusion or should they accept that broadchurch parties need to tend to base as well as the centre?
  • Is it really so wise to exclude people who are superior campaigners in favour of those who like to stand on street corners and pester motorists with signs?

Or will delegates merely clap enthusiastically for the media, having paid hundreds of dollars to fill up seats in an auditorium?

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