MOORA farmer Philip Gardiner has decided to quit politics despite being nominated second on the ticket to lead the National Party in next year’s state election.
Mr Gardiner said he was disgruntled with the pre-selection process adopted by the party.
Mr Gardiner’s decision not to re-contest next year’s election will make him the second senior experienced member of the Nationals to leave the party within the last few weeks.
Mr Gardiner believes that the pre-selection process compromises the merit and strategic direction of the National party.
“The process does not expose merit in the way I believe it should,” he said.
“It needs to be reviewed and reformed to better expose the merits and the deficiencies of each candidate.
“We need to get people into parliament who are beyond just good speakers and have the capacity to make good judgements.
“The pre-selection process currently relies on a system with a resume and short interview.
“In a commercial sense, a resume and interview are the two worst indicators of how well a particular person will perform in the role.
“The best understanding of a candidate, as from potential employees, comes from when you talk to referees.
“If you ask the right questions you can learn quite a bit about their character.
“I have held doubts about the value of the pre-selection process for some time but recent events have honed my views on the issue.
“It is a positive sign the Nationals are attracting more young people but it is important to maintain the balance of new blood and experience.
“It is unquestionably important to have new people coming through because it is a crucial part of the party.
“But I have always believed you need a broad cross-section of people and a balance of youth and experience.”
Mr Gardiner said he was looking forward to spending more time on the farm in Moora and with his family.