Nominations for the National Party Botany electorate candidacy are due to close shortly, but sources within the party indicate that an inanimate object is favoured to take the position.
A leaked memorandum, believed to be from National Party President Peter Goodfellow, recommends that the party adopts a lifeless object, such as a sofa or a door, as the candidate.
“A lifeless candidate may not excite the voters, but Botany is a safe seat and, whoever or whatever we put up as our candidate, we will win handsomely”, the memorandum states.
“If we put forward a jar of marmalade as the National candidate for Botany, it is likely that we will still take the seat by several thousand votes”, it continues.
“After the debacle of the last Botany MP being forced to resign, an inanimate object can be relied upon not to cause controversy or difficulty for the party. That is unless we choose the wrong object. One can only imagine the embarrassment that might be caused at the opening of a new church or school in the electorate if we choose, say, a condom.
“That is also why I am against the suggestion put forward by some that we appoint a book. While a book might appeal to the learned and educated as opposed to, say, a crushed beer can, there is always the potential to choose the wrong sort of book. We want a bland, anodyne candidate who won’t cause controversy, not a work by Salman Rushdie or Richard Dawkins.”
The memorandum reveals that intense debate is taking place within the highest echelons of the party over whether to put forward a dummy.
“I know that some within the party think we should put up a mannequin. They say that if we appoint a plastic bucket or a cheese sandwich we are clearly and obviously insulting our supporters. At least a mannequin looks vaguely human. Enough of our supporters, especially the infirm and elderly, might even fall for the trick.
“The trouble with this plan is that we would then have a number of very tricky decisions to make. What ethnicity and gender should our mannequin be? Should it be fat or thin? Botany is a diverse electorate with a large ethnic population and a diverse range of interests and opinions. We invite trouble if we even contemplate standing a mannequin or doll as candidate.
“With a stupid dumb faceless object, however, such as a bicycle tyre or a hair brush, these questions will not arise.
“And let us not forget that the last MP for Botany was a dummy, and look how that worked out.”
The memorandum does not settle on a final recommendation, but suggests that soft furnishings, doors and windows be considered.
If an inanimate object does become the MP for Botany, it will not be the first non-human member of Parliament.
In 2005 a rare type of vole was elected as list MP, and is current the electorate MP for West Coast-Tasman. And in 2005 the same party gave the colour blue a list seat.
The Labour Party has gone on the attack over the release of the leaked memorandum.
Labour Party leader Phil Goff accused the National Party of arrogance.
“This shows an utter contempt towards the voters of Botany,” said Mr Goff.
“Almost as much contempt as the voters of Botany have show towards Labour in the past.
“And I reject utterly the claim that Labour’s policies are about as adventurous as a pop-up toaster. A hot toaster can maim or even kill when used incorrectly. They are killer objects. A Labour government would ban pop-up toasters. And marmalade. God, I hate marmalade.”