Questions Candidate College Attendees should Ask

Tomorrow National’s new and “improved” Candidates College meets from 8:30am to 12:30pm in Auckland prior to the conference at SkyCity. Those that haven’t been put off by the “inquisition” and passed tests more stringent than aspiring board members have to pass will be in attendance.

The organisers of the the Candidates College will try to convince aspiring candidates that their life will not be fulfilled unless they take one for the team and run for National in a red seat.

The political reality is different. National will not win seats from Labour in 2014. It will lose them. There will be fewer list MPs, and not many new ones as all the old ones consider the world will not function without them having a secure place on the National list.So you will not go to parliament unless you are selected in a safe National seat.

Questions candidates should ask are:

  1. What will National do for me if I run in a red seat?
  2. Will running in a red seat improve my chances of a better list position next time?
  3. Will running in a red seat improve my chances of selection in a blue seat next time?
  4. What will it cost me to run in a red seat with no chance of getting into parliament?
  5. Will the board and senior party officials remain impartial through selection process?
  6. What will I be taxed by the “Victory Fund” for running for National?
  7. Will I have any say over policy if I run for National or will I be screamed at if I try to influence policy?

National has a institutional culture of using and abusing people and forgetting those who help them. Anyone considering running for National in a red seat in 2014 should be aware that it will cost them a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of heart ache. As soon as the election is over National will forget those who took one for the team, and will do absolutely nothing to support their careers or help them get into parliament in the future.

Worse they will have a post-election review and trot out an 8 page report after months of indifferent consultation and slap themselves all on the back for a job well done. Then re-constitute the Candidates College and repeat all the same mistakes.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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