It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Mwen se echantiyon yon ras kap boujonnen men ki poko donnen

Si vous voulez vous faire des ennemis essayer de changer les choses

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Recruiting qualified candidates is one of the primary responsibilities of your party. Obviously, the better your candidates, the more likely you are to win.----------------------------------------------------------------
What are the basic steps in candidate recruitment?
Research: Decide what type of person would be an ideal candidate for the race
Support: Get the support of the community for this candidate to run
Resources: Use the party and community resources to identify good candidates
Convince: Your party needs to show the candidate that the seat is winnable and that running is worth their effort. Explain that running and holding office will be difficult, but why it is worth the effort
Money: the candidate must understand the party will help raise the necessary funds to help them win
Honesty: be sure to only make promises, both to the candidate and the community, that you can keep-----------

Area Analyses
When running candidates for National Assembly, you should do some analyses of the Constituency. In order to select an ideal candidate and convince them to run, you need to understand the characteristics of the area, such as how most citizens there make a living.---------------------------------------------------------------

Why is this important?
Again, one of the most important elements in recruiting is convincing your candidate he or she can win. Research showing someone likeminded has won in the past, or that the area is ready for change, can go a long way in selling the idea to your candidate
Understanding how people make a living in that area may help the party identify attractive local candidates
Through your research, you may be able to identify attractive potential leaders you hadn’t thought of otherwise. These people may be leaders in the community who are not already involved in politics

Opposition Analyses
You will need to decide and then demonstrate that your opponent is vulnerable. To do this, the party will need to decide exactly what your candidate can draw on to beat the opponent.------------------------------------------------------------

What can you look for?
Abuse of perks in office
Promises not kept
Person who is not “home-grown”
No action on an issue of particular importance --------------

Characteristics of a strong candidate

1. Confidence. Both campaigning and running for office are difficult. Your candidate should demonstrate both the commitment and endurance needed to run for office.
2. Motivational Ability: Can your candidate lead and inspire. Will your candidate be able to pull together the people and resources necessary to win the seat?
3. Ability to source for funds: does you candidate have contacts to generate funds
4. A base: does your contact have a base of support, or is he/she popular in the community?
5. Desire: does your candidate truly want to win. Is this seat so important that she or he will withstand bad press, long hours, management problems and scarce funds?------------------

Other elements to consider:
1. Family: Does the candidate’s family support the decision to run?
2. Personal Finance: Can the candidate afford to run
3. Background: Are there aspects of the candidate’s life that could hurt the campaign? -------

Compiling a list:
1. Create a profile of your parties ideal candidate
2. Ask your colleagues, financial and community leaders for their advice
3. Draw on your candidate profile and some of the questions listed above to begin thinking about potential candidates.--

Who to look at:
Keep a list of those already in office who would be willing to support your party. Would they be a good candidate for a higher seat?
Consider those who have run and lost in the past. Would they stand a better chance this time around?
Consider community leaders or community heroes that are not yet involved in politics.---------------------------------------------------------

Developing support:
You need to have community support for the candidate throughout the recruiting process.
Your perspective candidate is likely to seek the advice of other party officials and community leaders before deciding to run. If they think your candidate cannot win, he or she is not likely to run. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The party should compile material showing that the campaign is winnable and how. The material should be updated after meetings with people in the area. Not only will this give you a good source of feedback on your top candidate picks, it will generate more names to consider if your original choices do not work out.-------------------------------------------

Inform your candidates
Be sure your candidates are well versed in both the party selection process and electoral regulations
Be clear on ways the party will be of assistance to your candidate
Develop a list of services your party is willing to provide for the candidate
Let them know what levels of the party hierarchy are willing to help
Be prepared to show that your party can raise money or help the candidate raise money for the election. Promising to make a contribution yourself would drive this message home.
Know the limits of your party’s financial contribution. Be sure you are not promising more than the party is willing to provide. Also be careful not to promise to fully fund the candidate, as your candidate needs to be able to actively source for funds.-----------

Meet with the candidate:
When you go to see each potential candidate on your list, tell them frankly what you are doing. For example: "I am part of a party recruitment team that is trying to find a woman to run for (name of the office). We have talked to several leaders in this community and your name was mentioned frequently."------------------------------------------------------------

Then, you want to ask some questions that will help you evaluate that person's potential, without encouraging either a "yes" or "no" on this visit.----------------------------------

People love flattery and they love to talk about themselves with sympathetic listeners. You will learn a great deal about each of the potential candidates whom your committee interviews if you are interested, ask good questions, and listen.-------------------------------------------

You may want to start talking about how the candidate views the incumbent to move the conversation toward the issue of campaigns.--------------------------------------------

At this meeting, your prospects might ask some questions about the office you want him or her to seek. Be ready to provide information such as the date of the election, what the job pays and how much time it takes.----------------

Recruiting the Prospect:You should go back to your prospect and ask him or her to run. Hold this meeting some place where you will have their full attention and they will have yours. This is a serious conversation - don't try to do it during the middle of the Independence Day celebration. Let your candidate know that he or she can make a difference, and you personally want this person to run.------------------------------------------------------------------------

The prospect will have questions that you can answer if you have done your research.
1. Have information about the office you want the candidate to run for: what it involves, how much it pays, is it full time or part time.
2. Review the selection process you used to come to them
3. Explain why you think this would be a good candidate. This should mainly be things about her personally.
4. If you are recruiting a woman, mention that public perceptions in Malawi are slowly changing in favour of women's participation in politics; that both survey data and election results show that women can be strong candidates even in a traditional culture. Present a bright outlook for women, but do not overwhelm the reasons you like her personally.
5. Talk about the specific race and why you think it is winnable.
6. Talk about the filing deadline and qualifications, and make it clear when he or she must commit.
7. Let your candidate know that he or she is qualified.
8. Answer the questions that you can, and get back to the recruit with information on the others.---------------------------------------

Getting a commitment: You may not get a commitment at this point, but you could at least get a timeframe for the candidate’s final answer. When closing the meeting, you should recognize that certain difficult issues (how will the family react, what will this mean for his or her career), will probably require more reflection on the part of the candidate. Since these issues are harder to address, you should focus on the things you can influence before you leave.
1. Be sure to sell the merits of running for office before leaving your meeting
2. Explain why it is important to the party
3. Defend your candidate’s ability to win
4. Remind you candidate of broad support in the community.-------------------------------------------------------------

Closing the Deal
Let's double check the list before we have the next meeting with the potential candidate.
1. He or she is flattered by the attention from the party, local officials and other community leaders.
2. Your candidate understands how he can make a difference in the race and why the race is winnable.
3. The candidate’s circle of friends and network has been informed, so they can give good advice.
4. Any questions brought up at the first meeting have either been answered by the party already, or you will address them now.-------------------------------------------------------

Now, return to your prospect, talk with him or her and get the final decision.