Thursday, 14 May 2009

10 things to look for in Parliamentary candidates

Many constituency associations and local parties will be considering whether to run re-selections following the disgrace of the Rotten Parliament. May I suggest that in the next Parliament we will need men and women of integrity and principle if we are to rebuild our broken democracy, and that local selection committees should look for qualities other than ideological rectitude in their candidates. I would suggest marking candidates out of five on each of the following:
  1. Have they served in the fighting forces, or in humanitarian or aid organisations in which they put themselves at risk for the good of others?
  2. Have they undertaken or do they undertake voluntary or pro bono work in the local community for the good of others?
  3. Would you trust them enough for them to know something deeply personal about you?
  4. Have they demonstrated their competence over a number of years in a trade or profession, excluding 'politician' or 'political organiser'?
  5. Do they have an established connection with or family, educational or residential history in or adjacent to the constituency?
  6. Do they demonstrate sufficient nous for you to feel comfortable that they can understand complex issues?
  7. Have they shown that they are industrious?
  8. Are they open and inclusive, not 'chippy', and can they fairly represent the diversity of people in the constituency?
  9. Have they demonstrated that they take pride in this nation and its institutions, by having (for example) participated in civic and national events such as Remembrance Day services?
  10. Have they demonstrated probity in their personal life?
And I would reject any candidates scoring less than 35.

Any other suggestions for questions would be welcome .....

11 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

I like it.

talwin said...

I'm trying to think of an existing MP around which even a majority of these criteria might fit. Tough going.

hatfield girl said...

Talwin, you would find these conditions met among the hereditary peers.

thefatlady said...

I have trouble getting to 35 with those criteria. No good for me, then!

Stu said...

I think I'd score about 4 out of 50 on that scale. Of course, I wouldn't be an MP if I were begged.

I share talwin's scepticism about any of our Parliamentary representatives scoring highly on that particular test, though...

talwin said...

Hatfield Girl. Hereditary peers? Go and wash your mouth out! No, but seriously, I take your point and agree. But I'm afraid, a bit of an outmoded idea nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Get real.
Affirmative action will ensure that the 'right' sort of people will be chosen and none others. Then and only then will you be allowed to vote for them

Raedwald said...

Well, I'm no angel and I can get to 35. I suspect BE can, too. But like Stu, I have no desire to be an MP.

mens sana said...

I guess I just about score 35, but then I am marking my own paper! But again I have no desire to be an MP. Which I guess is part of the problem, because it is difficult to bleat about the poor standards of MPs when none of us have the guts to put ourselves up for election against them.

How about 11. Would you trust them to put the interests of their nation and constituents above those of their party and themselves every time they vote in the Commons?

Anonymous said...

You need to include the question about whether they have worked in genuine wealth-creating private business for (say) five years, including being responsible for either meeting the payroll or delivering a budget.

It goes without saying that employment in any organisation partly or entirely funded by the public sector, whether directly or indirectly, is not qualifying under this rule.

Anonymous said...

Hats - indeed you would, a very good point.