To me there two unanswered question around the Aaron Gilmore affair. Just how did this man get selected onto Nationals list, and just how robust is National’s selection process? One can only assume it’s pretty poor given what has been reported of Gilmore’s history.
I commented around this very issue with respect to Brendon Horran (The Brendon Horran affair) in December last year and it feels like history repeating itself. Here’s the guts of that post.
When I was selected as Napier candidate at the last election I had to go through 3 separate interviews before my candidacy was confirmed. Each interview was more challenging than the last, and I recall saying to the final panel that it really felt like I had been put through the ringer.
Now I only put my name forward as an electorate candidate. If I had wanted to go on the list, I would have had to sell myself to all members of the Green Party as we all get to vote on each candidate’s position on the list, including the ranking of our leaders. Not that our leaders have ever been anything but 1 & 2 but we have had sitting MPs who have been booted off the list because they have not performed to expectations.
Every member gets this opportunity to vote on who goes on the list. and in what position. The only manipulation our executive can do to the rankings, is move a candidate up or down the list no more that 2 spaces to make sure we have the gender, ethnic and geographical mix our constitution demands.
This means our process is 100% democratic. As a candidate needs to be well known by the membership to get a high position on the list, only the most capable survive. I admit to being highly impressed with all of the Green Party MPs that I have met in terms of ability and personality, but not surprised, considering the hoops they have to jump though to get there.
So when we gripe about the ability of an MP it pays to give some thought as to how that MP got into parliament in the first place, and especially, how were they were selected by their party? I for one, have no confidence in back room deals being done to select our MPs.