Choosing those to be chosen from

Nine of us spent yesterday doing pre-selection for the National Party’ candidate for Clutha Southland.

As per party rules, the committee comprises the electorate chair, who chairs the meeting, four other from the electorate, who were elected at the AGM, two people nominated by the party president and two nominated by the regional chair.

This gives the the electorate a majority.

The proceedings are confidential so I won’t be divulging what happened but I thought readers might be interested in the process.

All nominees who get to pre-selection have already had board approval.

It is the committee’s role to interview them and reduce the number to five, in effect choosing those from whom the voting delegates will choose the candidate.

That someone doesn’t make the final cut doesn’t necessarily mean s/he wouldn’t have been a suitable candidate. It means that in the committee’s view, the five who get through would be better.

Pre-selection is a rigorous process and it needs to be for the sake of the party and the public.

A candidate chosen in any electorate has a chance of making it to parliament under MMP if s/he is a list candidate too and the candidate chosen in a blue seat like Clutha Southland is almost certain to win it.

All those interviewed have been notified of the outcome and now the five chosen have the task of convincing the delegates  – all of whom must have been financial members in the electorate for at least six months – that s/he is the one to step into the very big shoes left vacant by Bill English’s decision to stand for a list-seat only.

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