SECRECY cloaks the identity of four people shortlisted by Voices for Indi to be a successor to Cathy McGowan in federal parliament.
Alana Johnson said only she and two other members of Voices for Indi knew the details of the quartet who will face a selection process on Saturday in Benalla.
Ms Johnston declined to even reveal the gender make-up of the four, saying she wanted the 200 Voices for Indi supporters, who will decide the candidates’ fate, to have no preconceptions.
“It’s a deep dive into characteristics, competencies and capabilities,” Ms Johnson said of the selection process.
Contenders will be given 10 minutes each to address the audience and then a series of scenarios they could face as a politician will be put to them for their reaction.
Ms Johnson said there would no process of elimination or competition with a final choice made on consensus and the applicants being a part of that “so there’s no winners and losers”.
Liberal Party Indi federal electorate conference chair Tony Schneider said Voices for Indi “can do whatever they like but I think to put out that they’re going to be selecting somebody by consensus is absurd in that political context”.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything, it will be all up to Cathy McGowan to decide whether the candidate is suitable to follow her,” Mr Schneider said.
Look, I’m a simple man. Can someone please explain to me how a ‘community organisation’ having a ‘meeting’ to determine and endorse a successor to an sitting member of parliament, who came from that same organisation...how is that not a preselection? #indivotes#auspol— Marty Corboy (@marty_corboy) January 8, 2019
Ms Johnson said Ms McGowan would be inside the room for the selection process but won’t be asking questions.
“Deliberative forums and consensus decision-making are the new face of democracy, they are allowing a new way to empower communities to be involved in what decisions are made on their behalf,” Ms Johnson said.
“I can understand how political parties could see they are being left behind in this.”
Ms Johnson said the 200 people involved in the selection process would include former members of the Liberal and National parties.
She said the same process adopted by Voices for Indi to select a candidate was used by North East Water to set-up a regional plan.
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