Standing for politics not for faint-hearted

WITHOUT intending any disrespect to Nationals preselection candidate Kevin Hogan, the failure of local National Party members to line up for a shot at the Federal Seat of Page at next year's election is baffling.

Page is an extremely marginal seat, won partly with the help of a nation-wide swing towards Labor at the 2007 election, and made more marginal under a new redistribution. Sitting Labor MP Janelle Saffin has earned a solid profile in the community during the past 23 months, but the seat would have to be classed as 'winnable' for the Nats.

Granted, an election campaign is not for the faint-hearted.

It involves long months of thankless slog - attending every possible community function, wearing your knuckles to the bone on thousands of doors throughout the electorate, dealing with intense attacks from your political opponents, along with some members of the public.

It requires that you develop an exhaustive knowledge of your party's policies, the policies of your opposition, and of every community issue. You must put yourself at the disposal of every media outlet in the region and be prepared to chase them down if they are not showing enough interest.

It means giving up paid work for, generally, at least six weeks before the election, regardless of the need to keep paying your mortgage and feeding your family; who, incidentally, you won't see much of any more.

It means putting your heart and soul on the line for something that may come to nought. And through it all, you have to smile and convince everyone you are enjoying yourself.

On second thoughts, maybe it's not so surprising so few are interested in the job.



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