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National's Political Beauty Parade

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National’s Political Beauty Parade
John Tamihere

If you haven’t already heard, the National Party is holding a leadership lottery. Much like the TV programme Married at First Sight, it features five possible grooms, or groom-esses - which is only right given the fact that this is the age of equality and equity.

Late announcements from Mark Mitchell and Steven Joyce have added some slight zing to this interesting cocktail of National Party leadership aspirants.

However, oddly enough 3 of the candidates - Judith Collins, Steven Joyce and Mark Mitchell - are pitching for the top job knowing they do not have the numbers to actually win it. The question you then have to ask is why this trio of smart and shrewd politicians would put in for a job knowing you won’t make the cut? Well in politics, its about positioning yourself for influence, if not leadership.

Collins, Mitchell and Joyce are pitching to be within the leadership of the caucus, as opposed to being the actual leader.

In the likely event this vote goes to a preferential vote - as it will - this actually splits votes. People you have counted in your team often do the unthinkable on a preferential vote and pick the person they like, as well as you, into the final ballot. When this type of split voting happens, it’s often your first choice to miss out altogether.

Looking at the five candidates, basically no one knows Mark Mitchell. I’m sure some in his party had to do google him as well.

Most people know of Judith Collins - who has the warmth of an iceberg and an arrogance and entitlement that only Judith can have.

And Joyce - known as the Minister of Everything over the last 15 years - has had his DNA over everything in the National Party, from elections, to policy to finance. But I suspect his days as a major influencer in the National Party are numbered and all but over following this leadership election.

This leaves only two candidates that signify some form of generational change. They are Simon Bridges and Amy Adams.

Bridges and his whanau are well known in the west - his father being the local Baptist Minister. He and his brother also attended Rutherford High School in Te Atatu. Bridges is very capable and feisty enough, but like most National Party folk, has a bizarre sense of entitlement and ego.

Amy Adams is the same. She’s from the South Island, and is a female. She almost has all the equity going for her, apart from the fact she hasn’t quite manufactured a limp.

So who would you pick? And does anyone really care.

I think it might be, the next National Party leader to win an election is not actually in this House at the moment or is possibly among the new batch of 10, who we don’t know about.

Let’s wait and see.



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