Trusty, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind.
Those are the virtues a Guide or Scout should possess. They’re a a good start for an MP too but the successful one needs much more than that.
MPs require intelligence, confidence, common sense, diligence, flexibility, humility, versatility, energy, patience, perseverance, stamina versatility, vision and wisdom.
They must be adaptable, compassionate, decisive, dependable, fair, honest, honourable, innovative, open, polite, reasonable, tolerant and tough. They need the ability to find solutions to difficult problems and stressful situations without becoming emotionally involved and the strength to say “no” when they can’t help.
The position requires MPs to work with all sorts of people regardless of their abilities, backgrounds and views without fear or favour.
MPs need to learn how to not take personal attacks personally. A well developed sense of humour, including the ability to laugh at themselves, is essential.
They must be able to admit mistakes and apologise for them.
They need the support of family and friends who will lift them up when they’re knocked back and keep the grounded if they start getting carried away with their own importance.
They need to be articulate, enthusiastic and persuasive. They require the ability to read quickly, understand complex and sometimes contradictory information and to sort what’s important and right from what’s not.
MPs need to know what they believe in. They must be sure about what they will tolerate and what they won’t; what they stand for and what they stand against.
They must support the philosophy and principles of the party for which they are standing and not be like Marilyn Waring who told Chris Laidlaw she stood for the National Party so she could get into parliament, not because she believed in it.
Supporting the philosophy and principles of the party doesn’t mean they’ll agree with every policy. They must be able to accept the need to promote policies they might not agree with and choose very carefully the rare occasions when they will not be able to do that.
Tonight 60 members of the National Party will be choosing one of five nominees who will be the candidate for Botany.
They are: Maggie Barry, Aaron Bhatnagar, Darron Gedge, Jami-lee Ross and Edward Saafi.
I don’t know any of them well enough to have a view on who will be the best candidate.
The list of attributes isn’t exhaustive and none of the five will have all the ones I’ve mentioned. But I hope s/he has most of them because the man or woman who wins the selection will almost certainly be the next MP for the electorate.